Trudeau Says He Won’t Accept ‘Bad Deal’ On NAFTA

REUTERS/Blair Gable

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told students at the University of Chicago that no deal may be better for Canada than a “bad deal.”

“We will not be pushed into accepting any old deal, and no deal might very well be better for Canada than a bad deal,” he said.

Trudeau’s warning comes as the U.S. is reportedly becoming weary of the prime minister’s social agenda that he wants incorporated into a new NAFTA agreement. U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer has suggested that the U.S. might finalize a trade deal with Mexico first, according to a U.S. Democratic congressman who was briefed by Lighthizer.

Trudeau warned of job losses if President Donald Trump makes good on his oft-repeated threat to tear the treaty up if it doesn’t adequately protect U.S. interests.

“One of the benefits of NAFTA is the stability that it provides in terms of investments and building supply chains that criss-cross the border — that’s good for our economy, that’s good for your economy, it just makes a lot of sense,” Trudeau said.

“Anything that provides a level of uncertainty like a sunset clause for example to businesses is something we have grave reservations about.”

On Friday, Trudeau is scheduled to head to California to deliver another free trade pitch that is expected to include references to Trudeau’s favorite social issues: gender equality, labor rights and climate change recognition. Trudeau will speak to a cross-section of municipal, state and federal lawmakers at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Institute.

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