During a press release in Longueuil, Quebec, Justin Trudeau spoke to reporters on the recently coined “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.
Despite Donald Trump’s insistence that the new deal is meant to replace the former North American Free-Trade Agreement, the Prime Minister still chose to refer to the deal as NAFTA.
“We have been encouraged by the progress made by our NAFTA partners,” says Trudeau.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is currently travelling to Washington D.C. to resume negotiations with the U.S. and has only a week to arrive at a conclusion. President Trump has threatened auto tariffs on Canada if things don’t follow through.
Justin Trudeau confirmed he has spoken to both the Mexican President and the President of the United States about the issue over the phone.
NAFTA negotiations have continued to plague the Liberal government ever since the U.S has slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, sparking a trade war between the two nations.
During the press conference, the Prime Minister had to address the recent debate on supply management taking place in the Canadian political atmosphere.
“My position on defending supply management has not changed. We will defend supply management,” replied Trudeau.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, recently back from a Halifax policy convention retweeted a video of himself from a question period earlier this year, quoting the Prime Minister saying “We’re moving towards flexibility in those areas” and then asked “What concessions has the Prime Minister made on supply management?”
When announcing his intent to resume negotiations with Canada, Donald Trump mentioned the 300% tariff on U.S. dairy products which he called unfair to the United States.
Ardent supply management critic and recent independent MP Maxime Bernier claimed on Twitter that the Liberals and Conservatives are competing on who is more supportive of supply management. Bernier has recently insisted that to deal fairly with the US and avoid damaging both economies it is essential that Canada makes concessions on the supply management system which he calls the “dairy cartel”.
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