Trudeau, Trump discuss trade as White House vows NAFTA renegotiation

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 22 2017 08:23 AM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump. File/Composite

OTTAWA, Canada - President Donald Trump spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Saturday in a call focused on the importance of bilateral trade.

The discussion came the day after the Trump team swiftly updated the White House website to reflect commitment to "renegotiating NAFTA," the free trade agreement that has linked Canada, the United States and Mexico since 1994.

According to a statement from Trudeau, the leaders "reiterated the importance of the Canada-United States bilateral relationship, and discussed various areas of mutual interest."

But the White House had wasted no time a day prior in updating its trade deals policy page after the 45th US president's inauguration: "President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA."

"If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States' intent to withdraw from NAFTA."

On the campaign trail, Trump called NAFTA the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed and vowed to renegotiate or rip it up.

Canada has said it expects to keep its 1989 bilateral free trade agreement with the US if Trump withdraws from NAFTA.

Since Trump's shock November 8 electoral victory, both Canada and Mexico have announced that they are willing to sit down with the new administration to reexamine the free trade agreement.

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