Trudeau repeats Canada’s willingness to discuss NAFTA

‘It’s important that we be open to talking about trade deals,’ Trudeau says at event in Nova Scotia

SYDNEY, N.S. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is willing to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement with a Trump administration.

“I think it’s important that we be open to talking about trade deals, like NAFTA or any other trade deal,” he told reporters at the re-opening of a Veterans Affairs office in Sydney, N.S., Thursday.

U.S. president-elect Donald Trump vowed during the campaign to renegotiate NAFTA and other trade deals, and David MacNaughton, the Canadian ambassador to Washington, said Wednesday Canada is willing to “come to the table.”

Trudeau said Thursday Ottawa needs to make sure Canadians continue to benefit from all trade deals.

“As our ambassador said, if the Americans want to talk about NAFTA, I’m more than happy to talk about it,” he said.

Trudeau said Trump expressed warmth towards Canada in their initial phone call Wednesday night.

“Our conversation last night was brief. I congratulated him for his victory. He expressed warmth toward Canada. I talked about how important the relationship has been,” said Trudeau. “It was a brief call, but a strong beginning to what is going to be a constructive relationship.”

He said Canadians expect their prime minister to have a good relationship with whomever is president.

“One of the important things about my job is that Canadians expect me to work with whomever Americans elect to be their president,” said Trudeau. “We’re Canadians. We work hard to get along with people.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.