Open to renegotiate free trade: Canada
Canada’s ambassador to Washington has said that Canada is open to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement if that’s what President-elect Donald Trump wants.
Ambassador David MacNaughton, on a conference call with journalists, said free trade on lumber would be one of the first things he would like to see if there is a new agreement. He noted that the US is Canada’s largest trading partner and Canada is the largest trading partner for the US. “We’re ready to come to the table,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Trump on Wednesday and congratulated him. He also invited Trump to Canada. Trump also invited Trudeau to visit him. “The Prime Minister and the President-elect reiterated the importance of the Canada-US bilateral relationship and discussed various areas of mutual interest,” Trudeau’s office said.
The Liberal PM has vowed to work “very closely” with Trump and said Canada has no closer ally and partner than the US. But Trudeau’s openness to trade, refugees and the environment stands in stark contrast to Trump. Of particular concern to Canada is Trump’s vow to renegotiate NAFTA, but MacNaughton said any agreement can be improved. Trump has called NAFTA the “worst deal in history.”
MacNaughton said if NAFTA was scrapped, the original Canada-US trade deal that predated NAFTA would come back into force and he said he doubted the Americans would want to end that.