Trump expects only 'tweaking' of trade relationship with Canada

Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:25pm EST
 
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By Andrea Hopkins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Monday the United States would be "tweaking" its trade relationship with Canada, stopping short of calling for a major realignment in a development likely to please visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trump has pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement(NAFTA) linking the economies of the United States, Mexico and Canada to make the terms more favorable to Americans.

At a joint news conference with Trudeau after White House talks, Trump said his biggest concern with NAFTA was the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico, which he has frequently accused of stealing American jobs.

"We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We'll be tweaking it," Trump said.

"It's a much less severe situation than what's taking place on the southern border. On the southern border, for many, many years the transaction was not fair to the United States," he said.

Trump said the United States and Canada were stronger when they joined forces in matters of international commerce, and both countries benefited from having more jobs and trade in North America.

"We should coordinate closely - and we will coordinate closely - to protect jobs in our hemisphere and keep wealth on our continent, and to keep everyone safe," Trump said.

Trudeau carefully steered around questions about the Canadian trade relationship with the United States in what was his first meeting with the new president. He said he expected each country to always remain each other's most essential partner.   Continued...

 
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) meets with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque