US & Canada

Trump presidency: Trudeau open to renegotiating trade

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 31, 2016 in Washington, DC Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says new relationship with US off to a good start

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his relationship with Donald Trump is off to a good start, and indicated a willingness to revisit the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr Trudeau spoke with the president-elect on Wednesday.

He extended what has become a traditional invitation to newly elected US leaders to visit Canada after the inauguration.

Mr Trump reciprocated the invite.

"It was a brief call but a strong beginning to what is going to be a constructive relationship," Mr Trudeau said on Thursday.

Although his own policy goals contradict many of Mr Trump's, the prime minister said he looks forward to developing a constructive working relationship with his new US counterpart.

Mr Trudeau also said Canada is open to re-examining the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) between Canada, the US and Mexico.

Mr Trump has called Nafta the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed.

Canada's ambassador to the US, David MacNaughton, also struck a diplomatic tone on the incoming Trump administration.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Canadian officials say they are looking for a productive relationship with a Trump administration

Mr MacNaughton said that while Canada believes Nafta has benefited the economies of all three countries "every agreement can be improved".

Thirty-four US states rely on trade with Canada, which supports nine million American jobs, while exports to the United States represents 20% of Canada's GDP.

"It is in our mutual interest to work together to build a stronger economy and I think that reality has already dawned on them," Mr MacNaughton said of the incoming administration.

The ambassador also underscored the working relationship Canada already has in place with US business and labour groups, and with individual lawmakers at all levels of government.

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