Canada, Mexico talk future of free trade agreement

Trump calls it ‘worst trade deal’, promises to renegotiate NAFTA or scrap it

Canada, Mexico talk future of free trade agreement

World Bulletin / News Desk

Canada and Mexico met Saturday at an economic summit in Peru to discuss what repercussions the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president would have on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

No statement was released following the meeting but Canadian media reported earlier this week that the leaders of Canada and Mexico held talks on NAFTA in the days between Trump’s election and the conference.

The agreement signed in 1994 by the United States, Canada and Mexico, removed tariffs on many goods traded among the three countries, with most of the exports going to the huge United States market.

Trump has called NAFTA “the worst trade deal in the history of the country” and during his presidential campaign said he would scrap it if it could not be renegotiated.

The heads of the Canadian and Mexican governments are using the 21-country two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to mull Trump’s rebuke of NAFTA and plot strategy to save the deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the days leading up to Saturday’s meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, tried to allay fears about the future of NAFTA and said he would be willing to renegotiate the deal.

“When I say that I’m open to talking about NAFTA, open to talking about trade deals, that’s the way I govern,” Trudeau said, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s national news service. “I’m always open to talking about whatever people want to talk about.”

Trudeau added that if Trump wants to renegotiate the deal, it would not be the first time the NAFTA was amended.

“The fact is that NAFTA has been amended and tweaked and improved and adjusted a dozen times over the past 20 years, so we’re always looking at opportunities to make it better and stronger,” he said.

The two men will also hold frequent talks in future about NAFTA while Trump is busy assembling his government team, members of which do not yet have access to national security and economic policy, the Globe reported.

If NAFTA is killed, Canada can resurrect a 1984 free trade deal that was replaced by NAFTA, but Mexico does not have that option, the Globe reported.

The free trade deal affects about 530 million people in the three countries, Fox News Latino reported.

Last Mod: 20 Kasım 2016, 10:43
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