Trudeau Talks NAFTA at Conference With US Governors

Justin Trumpdeau

Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed ongoing trade disagreements between their two countries on Friday on the sidelines of a gathering of US governors. Earlier, the Canadian government got what it wanted during the US meetings - clear, public reassurances from American politicians that the North American Free Trade Agreement will be preserved.

"More trade barriers. does not help working families over the long term, or even the mid-term".

Pence and Trudeau met at the National Governors Association 2017 Summer Meeting, the annual event that brings together heads of USA states to discuss critical domestic topics.

Trump's fierce opposition to NAFTA has prompted Trudeau's government to reach out to USA leaders, including one-on-one meetings on Friday with Vice President Mike Pence and the governors of Kentucky, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Iowa.

He warned that the protectionist policies Trump advocates run the risk of becoming "a cycle of tit-for-tat, a race to the bottom, where all sides lose". "It's working now", Trudeau told the group of about 30 governors in a ballroom in a downtown hotel.

"We think right upfront about how to make sure that benefits that will come from trade inevitably accrue to more of the population", he said. Trudeau says the agreement has only benefitted the entire continent.

Trudeau also told reporters on Friday that Trump told him that he did not expect to subject Canadian steel and aluminum to face tariffs on national security grounds.

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