• February 17, 2018
    Last updated 26 minutes ago

government

Trudeau threatens to leave Nafta rather than ‘take any old deal’

His comments come days after US President Donald Trump threatened to get tough on trade

Bloomberg
18:37 February 3, 2018

Toronto

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made some of his most aggressive comments to date on dealing with US demands to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, adding he still thinks he can get the right deal for his country.

“We aren’t going to take any old deal,” Trudeau said Friday at a town hall in Nanaimo, British Columbia. “Canada is willing to walk away from Nafta if the United States proposes a bad deal. We won’t be pushed around.”

His comments come days after US President Donald Trump threatened to get tough on trade, though he didn’t single out Nafta, in his State of the Union address. The latest round of Nafta talks wrapped up in Montreal on Monday, with all sides saying there had been progress, while acknowledging significant gaps remain on some issues.

Trudeau said the 24-year-old pact has been good for both Canada and the US and a reworked deal could still be reached. “Cancelling it would be extremely harmful and disruptive to people in the United States,” Trudeau said.

“We are going to keep negotiating in good faith,” he added. “We are confident we are going to be able to get to the right deal for Canada, not just any deal.”

Canada’s currency weakened to an intraday low after Trudeau’s remarks, trading down 1.3 per cent to C$1.2421 per US dollar at 4:20pm in Toronto.