Prime Minister Trudeau Takes Stance On NAFTA, Says Canada Prepared To ‘Walk Away’

Speaking at a series of public town halls, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau adopted a tougher stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks taking place between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, saying that the Canadian government isn’t going to “take any old deal,” and adding that “Canada is willing to walk away from NAFTA.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s tough rhetoric was a pointed change from the “charm offensive” he and his government have employed up to this point when dealing with the United States on proposed revisions to NAFTA. Until now, the Canadian government has maintained the line that they want to remain at the negotiating table and work to save and improve NAFTA for the benefit of all three countries involved in the trilateral trade pact.

“We won’t be pushed around,” Prime Minister Trudeau said when answering questions at a town hall meeting held in Nanaimo, British Columbia. “Canada is willing to walk away from NAFTA if the United States proposes a bad deal.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s remarks come days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to get tough on trade in his State of the Union address. The latest round of NAFTA talks wrapped up in Montreal last week with all sides involved saying there had been progress, while acknowledging that significant gaps remain on several key issues.

“We are going to keep negotiating in good faith,” said the Canadian Prime Minister at the town hall meeting. “We are confident we are going to be able to get to the right deal for Canada, not just any deal…We aren’t going to take any old deal.”