Canada wants to keep NAFTA, but “prepare for the worst”

Photo: Geoff Robins, The canadian Press
“From the beginning, the United States has been clear”, stressed the minister Freeland in a press conference.

Canada still hopes to get an agreement at the conclusion of the renegotiation of the free trade Agreement north american (NAFTA), but “prepare for the worst” with a possible withdrawal of American, said on Thursday the minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland.


“From the beginning, the United States has been clear” on the event of their withdrawal from the NAFTA, and Canada ” hope for the best, but prepares for the worst “, stressed the minister during a press conference.


“We need to take our neighbours to the words, take them seriously,” said Ms. Freeland, even if Canada is ready for any eventuality “.


The sixth session of re-negotiations of the NAFTA between Canadian, Mexican and Us needs to be held in late January in Montreal, but behind the scenes, Canada is actively preparing for the withdrawal of the United States, had indicated on Wednesday a government source.


The Canada approach this new session renegotiation with “good will” and hope for a “positive outcome” of the discussion if ” good will is present in all the participants “, warned asked by chrystia Freeland.


The three countries are given until march to renegotiate the free trade treaty in place for nearly 25 years.


In the event of failure of the discussions, the use of the article 2205 of the agreement by the United States would trigger a six month process which would lead to its formal withdrawal from the NAFTA.


The canadian minister of international Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, has defended the need to use with the United States, the same rhetoric of firmness.


“When people see that you are firm, you gain the respect,” said Mr. Champagne.


“We have always been constructive, [ … ] and we understand that [the United States] are our biggest trading partner, but I think that the american counterparts to understand when you are strong,” he said.

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