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Canada's Trudeau says no NAFTA deal might be better than a bad one

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will not join a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pact if it is a bad deal.
  • But he added "we are going to expect a good deal, a fair deal."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 31, 2016 in Washington, DC.
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 31, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Canada "might very well be better off" not signing up for an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pact rather than accept a bad deal, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

Trudeau, speaking at the University of Chicago, said in a televised address that he expected a good deal from negotiations to modernize the $1.2 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement.

Talks to update the 1994 treaty are going slowly amid frequent threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to walk away unless Canada and Mexico agree to major changes.

"I've been very, very clear. We are going to expect a good deal, a fair deal," said Trudeau.

"We will not be pushed into accepting any old deal and no deal might very well be better for Canada than a bad deal," he added.

The Canadian prime minister made similar comments last Friday, when he also said he was confident about prospects for the treaty.