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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau gives Trump high marks, despite strained NAFTA talks

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says President Donald Trump is a change agent. He gave Trump a positive review despite strained negotiations on NAFTA. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is critical of President Donald Trump’s stance on NAFTA, but he remains “positive in his assessment of Trump,” CTV News in Canada reported.

Trudeau’s comments came as the U.S. continues negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement, a decades-old agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Negotiations are now on hold for the holidays.

The Canadian government wants to salvage NAFTA, CTV News stated.

Trump is threatening to rewrite or dump NAFTA, unless it becomes more profitable for America. He calls NAFTA the “worst trade deal in U.S. history,” and says it has sent too many jobs overseas.

In an interview with CTV News, Trudeau said he remains positive about Trump.

"The thing that reassures me fundamentally is he got elected on a commitment to help people, to make America great again," Trudeau told the news outlet. “The way to help those people is to bring in trade deals and jobs and economic growth that is going to help.”

Trudeau also called Trump a change agent.

"Donald Trump has demonstrated that he’s a bit of a disruptive force. He does unpredictable things,” Trudeau said. “He's a deal-maker. He's a negotiator."

Is Mexico concerned about NAFTA?

Trump's NAFTA negotiations are also concerning to Mexico leaders. Mexico is lobbying to defend NAFTA because the U.S. represents about 80 percent of its export market, Reuters reported.

Mexico is working on plans diversify its trade and guarantee foreign investments in case NAFTA collapses, according to Reuters. The government is also looking at charging tariffs, although it has not said how that might work.

What have U.S. governors said about NAFTA negotiations?

Republican governors concerned about NAFTA negotiations include Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Rick Snyder of Michigan, Bill Haslam of Tennessee, and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. well as Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Reuters reported.

“The administration was clear that it wants to be able to negotiate a better NAFTA deal for American manufacturers and workers,” Hutchinson said. “I respect that negotiating position, but my message is that Arkansas must be able to continue its access to North American markets unimpeded by trade barriers. Otherwise, there will be serious harm to Arkansas agriculture, and retail and manufacturing sectors.”

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