Trudeau says good NAFTA deal wanted soon, hazy on deadline

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks March 30 at a Ford plant in Windsor, Ont. (PMO photo by Adam Scotti)

Saskatoon | Reuters — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he wanted a good NAFTA deal as soon as possible, but did not answer directly when asked if he agreed with Washington that the end of September was the final deadline for talks.

Canada and the U.S. are struggling to settle differences over access to the Canadian dairy market and how to resolve trade disputes.

The U.S. has already struck a side deal with Mexico, the third member of the North American Free Trade Agreement. U.S. President Donald Trump says he will ditch Canada unless it quickly makes concessions.

U.S. trade laws dictate that there is an Oct. 1 deadline to produce the text of a pact that all three nations can sign before the current Mexican government leaves office on Nov. 30.

“We have seen various deadlines put forward as markers to work for,” Trudeau told reporters when asked whether he felt that the end of September was the final deadline.

“We’ll do the work and try and get there as quick as we can, but we’re going to make sure that we’re doing what is necessary to get the right deal for Canadians,” Trudeau said at the end of a meeting of legislators from his ruling Liberal Party in Saskatoon.

— Reporting for Reuters by David Ljunggren.

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