Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doesn't think a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is a "real issue" despite the rhetoric in both major U.S. political parties.
Speaking with CNBC Thursday morning in a wide-ranging interview, the Canadian head of government offered a defense of international trade agreements and explained he was not worried by the "little spikes of protectionism" that happen during elections.
"I think we have to understand that trade is ultimately good, not just for our countries, but for our businesses and our workers," he said. "I'm not worried that we're going to suddenly reopen NAFTA or other trade deals: The challenge is once you reopen it a little bit, they all tend to unravel, and it's too important for both of our economies to continue to have a strong trading relationship."
NAFTA, which went into effect in 1994, eliminated many tariffs between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It has long been the subject of criticism from both the right and the left on claims that it has hurt manufacturers and killed jobs.