No “plan B” to replace the NAFTA

News 15 January, 2018
  • Photo Agence QMI, Sebastien St-Jean
    The minister of international Trade, the honourable François-Philippe Champagne.

    QMI agency

    Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:40

    Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:40

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    OTTAWA | The federal government is active to overcome the shock of a withdrawal of the United States of the free trade Agreement north american (NAFTA), but has no plan B to deal with this eventuality, has recognized the minister of international Trade, François-Philippe Champagne.

    In interview to the program “Question Period” CTV Sunday, the minister said that the government was not seeking to have a plan B, but rather to analyse all the possibilities.

    Mr. Champagne has been invited to comment on the record of the NAFTA, while, earlier this week, a government source has indicated that the government was expecting to receive a notice of withdrawal of the Americans. President Donald Trump has, however, suggested, in an interview to the “Wall Street Journal”, to be open to the idea of letting the negotiations continue until the summer.

    The minister used the interview to claim that the issues progressives put forward in the negotiations by Canada will not be detrimental to progress. “This is not the case at all. The real problems that we encounter are the same as those that arose at the time [of the creation of the NAFTA]”, he argued.

    The minister of foreign Affairs, asked by chrystia Freeland, has also proven to be optimistic. According to it, the issuance of a notice of withdrawal, which must be filed six months before the United States can withdraw from the treaty, does not mean necessarily the end of the Agreement.

    I believe that there is a lot of uncertainty on what might happen during this six-month period, said the minister during an interview on the show “the West Block” of the Global News Sunday. This would be the first time that the United States withdrew from a free trade agreement, then there is a lot of uncertainty about what would happen”.

    Ms. Freeland has, however, indicated that “it is our responsibility, as government, to take seriously the statements of [Mr. Trump] and prepare for all contingencies.”