Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is willing to accelerate North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks to get ahead of U.S. and Mexico election pressures if needed, striking an upbeat tone on the fate of the trade pact.  Trudeau said he was “very optimistic we’re going to be able to get a win-win-win” deal on NAFTA, speaking in an interview this week with Bloomberg Television.

“We’re happy to accelerate so we can accommodate them. Canada’s not the one creating time pressures at the table and we’ll continue to work at whatever speed the others want,” Trudeau said, speaking at a steel mill in Regina, Saskatchewan. “But the level of collaboration, coordination, integration of our economies has positioned North America better able to take on the world, and I know there are even greater opportunities to that,” he said.

President Donald Trump exempted Canada and Mexico last week from tariffs on steel and aluminum, but has regularly singled out his northern neighbor for being unfair with the United States on trade. Trudeau said the decision to exempt Canada from tariffs imposed on grounds of national security “just makes sense,” given the defense ties between the countries

“We have a NAFTA now, we will have a NAFTA once we improve it. That sounds to me like we’re pretty good on not getting tariffs and I’m really confident we’re going to get to the right place on NAFTA,” Trudeau said.

 

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