Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Trudeau pitches free trade in speech to USA governors

Trudeau pitches free trade in speech to USA governors

Trudeau's comments were focused on President Donald Trump's campaign -and now presidential promise- to renegotiate NAFTA, a trade deal struck in the 1990's between Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton, who was also present, tweeted that Kentucky's exports to Canada total $7.5 billion a year.

"Sometimes getting it right means refusing to take the politically tempting shortcuts, more trade barriers, more local content provisions, more preferential access for homegrown players and government procurement, for example, does not help working families over the long term or even the midterm", Trudeau said. "It's working now", Trudeau told the group of about 30 governors gathered in Providence, Rhode Island.

"Such policies kill growth. Once we travel down that road, it can quickly become a cycle of tit-for-tat, a race to the bottom, where all sides lose".

Given the significance of agricultural products in USA exports, we request that you avoid any revisions to NAFTA and other previously negotiated trade agreements that would diminish the opportunities for USA farmers and ranchers to export their products, particularly given the current depressed state of the agriculture economy.

"To boil this down to one point: Canada is your biggest, best customer - by far", he said.

In addition, Pence and Trudeau spoke about US-Canada mutually beneficial trade and investment relationship and agreed to work on disagreements in the sector.

NAFTA negotiations could begin as soon as next month, after the United States signals what portions of the agreement it wishes to reopen.

Trudeau says he is open to changing NAFTA, but won't weaken his country's position.

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