December 11, 2017

Is Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Moving Away From NAFTA And Toward A Bilateral?

At the Fortune Global Forum in China last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would consider a bilateral trade agreement with the United States if negotiations over how to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) fail. According to Bloomberg, Trudeau told the Forum audience, “We will always look at different opportunities … We’re ready for anything, when things come forward. The new administration has shown a willingness to disrupt the patterns of past behavior and look for new models, and we’re willing to entertain next steps forward.”

The two nations had a bilateral trade agreement before NAFTA was signed.

As a reminder, the Metals Service Center Institute outlined in comments to the U.S. Trade Representative earlier this year how U.S., Canadian, and Mexican negotiators can work to modernize NAFTA in order to help the industrial metals sectors in Canada and the United States.

In other trade news: due to disagreement over state-owned enterprises, Prime Minister Trudeau’s discussions last week with the Chinese government failed to result in a clear path forward for a Canada-China trade agreement. Trudeau explained, “Any discussion on trade as we move forward needs to reflect on the challenges, the opportunities, the advantages and the inconvenience when two systems that are different are trying to collaborate, so we can create benefits for both groups of citizens.” Click here to read more on this topic.