Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country won’t use the new NAFTA as leverage to break President Trump’s tariffs.
“We would much rather have genuine free trade with the United States, so we’re going to continue to work to lift those tariffs,” Mr. Trudeau said in an interview clip CNN aired on Tuesday, “But we’re not at the point of saying we wouldn’t sign [the trade agreement] if it wasn’t lifted, although we are trying to make that case.”
When pressed by CNN host Poppy Harlow, Mr. Trudeau stressed, “I don’t negotiate in public.”
However, the prime minister told CNN that the tariffs were not the reason Canada came to the NAFTA negotiation and that they were always willing to talk trade with the U.S.
Canada agreed to Mr. Trump’s USMCA (the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement) in early October, but the deal is still unsigned.
The agreement came after tough negotiations and bitter trade tensions over tariffs, during which Mr. Trump accused the U.S.’ long-time ally of taking advantage.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says US tariffs weren’t the reason he was willing to agree to a new trade deal earlier this year — dismissing President Donald Trump’s argument that the duties on Canadian goods forced his hand. @PoppyHarlowCNN has the exclusive interview. pic.twitter.com/4iwscIwQa0
— New Day (@NewDay) November 6, 2018