Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today said there is a chance of reaching agreement on a continental trade deal with the US and Mexico by the end of the week.
Just a day after Canadian trade officials rejoined talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement in Washington, Trudeau said, “There is a possibility of getting to a good deal for Canada by Friday,” the day the US has set to have at least the broad accord completed.
But any agreement “will hinge on whether or not there is ultimately a good deal for Canada,” Trudeau said at a student rally in Kapuskasing in northern Ontario.
“I have said from the very beginning no NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal,” he added.
The prime minister also said his government is “standing firm on a broad range of things that matter deeply to Canadians,” citing the supply-managed dairy market, which US officials have sought to dismantle.
The system has been in place since the 1970s and survived several attempts to undo it, but Ottawa could offer US dairy farmers a small increased share of the market as it did with the EU in a free trade pact last year.
After months of intense negotiations, the United States and Mexico announced an agreement Monday on a thorough overhaul of the 25-year-old NAFTA, but President Donald Trump suggested he could cut Ottawa out.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto and President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador both said NAFTA should remain a trilateral pact.