While visiting Washington, D.C. this week, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he believes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners can reach an agreement, and on time. Trudeau visited with President Donald Trump in the White House, along with speaking with U.S. lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Even as Trump said while standing next to Trudeau that they “may or may not” reach an agreement, Trudeau believes all sides can. During a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, Trudeau politely addressed trade rhetoric coming from the White House.
There was no mention of Canada’s dairy supply management system, but the expected demand from the U.S. that Canada ditches its dairy industry protections is a perceived “poison pill” by trade analysts, and is thought to be a negotiating tactic to force the failure of the talks by the Trump administration. Other so-called “poison pills” include the Buy American initiative and provisions regarding the auto industry. Trudeau remains optimistic a deal will be reached.
Trudeau says he believes the deal can be completed but says Canada is “ready for anything”.
The Trump administration is seeking to conclude negations by the end of this year. Trudeau says he believes that timeline can be accomplished.
Round four of the negotiations, which are expected to address agricultural issues, will wrap up next week in Washington, D.C.