Canada PM says won’t be rushed on NAFTA, new deal not guaranteed

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Bloomberg pic)

UNITED NATIONS: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said he would not be rushed into renewing Nafta and indicated it was possible the three member nations might fail to conclude a new pact.

The top US negotiator on Tuesday complained Canada was not making enough concessions in bilateral talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement and said time was running out before Washington proceeded with a Mexico-only deal.

“We will keep working as long as it takes to get to the right deal for Canada,” Trudeau told reporters when asked about the increasing US pressure to wrap up the talks.

Asked about the challenges posed by a U.S. threat of auto tariffs, Trudeau said Canada would need to feel confident “about the path forward as we move forward – if we do – on a Nafta 2.0.”

Trudeau also said the tariffs that Trump imposed on Canadian steel and aluminium in late May would have to be scrapped before Canada felt comfortable signing a new Nafta.

The Trump administration has said the text of an agreement between the three nations is needed by Sunday to allow the current Mexican government to sign it before it leaves office at the end of November.