Canadian Prime Minister Says Contingency Plans Are In Place Should NAFTA Fail

Elias Hubbard
January 31, 2018

That speech came just hours after former prime minister Brian Mulroney gave a passionate defence of NAFTA before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. As Inside U.S. Trade reported last week, the January 30 letter was timed to precede President Trump's speech.

He went on to assert in no uncertain terms that free trade had benefited the United States and Canada from an economic perspective and by cementing the most peaceful and prosperous bilateral relationship in history. Our message has been consistent, to the president, to our partners and friends in the United States: NAFTA has been good for American jobs. The trade pact was negotiated by Republican President George H.W. Bush and implemented by Democratic President. A year ago alone, automakers and suppliers announced more than $9.5 billion in new USA investment.

Last night, Trump railed against "unfair trade deals" in his State of the Union address.

I think that, from an American perspective, certainly the American farm community will be saying Canada now has first advantage, particularly when it comes to sales of our agri-food products whether we're talking about pulse and lentils and soy and especially pork and beef into most importantly the Japanese market but also other market like Vietnam.

U.S. agricultural exports to the two countries have quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $38.1 billion in 2016, the letter said.

But the former prime minister said such assistance is contingent on the strength of the Canadian economy, which is highly reliant on its trading relationship with the US.

"Because it diminishes our wealth and our capacity to contribute to joint or trilateral endeavours".

The efforts to renegotiate NAFTA are "far from being completed at this point", Commerce Secretary said on CNBC Wednesday.

Asked point blank if he thinks President Trump will serve the six months' notice required for the pull out of NAFTA, Prime Minister Trudeau responded: "I don't think the president is going to be cancelling it..."

"He has never said no trade deals, he said no bad trades", Newman said, noting Trump's new language at Davos.

A seventh round of NAFTA negotiations is scheduled to take place in Mexico from February 26 to March 6.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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