Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government’s position on supply management hasn’t changed.
He says Canada will defend it.
Trudeau took just a few questions from reporters in Montreal today — saying he is encouraged by the progress made by the U-S and Mexico during their recent trade talks.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is headed to Washington to re-join the talks to modernize NAFTA.
But the pressure is mounting on Canada, with two of President Donald Trump’s top lieutenants both pressing today for Canada to open up its supply-managed dairy industry.
Monday, the U.S. president again blasted the Canadian dairy industry during his announcement of a trade agreement with Mexico that he said could replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump imposed a Friday deadline for Canada to come on board, which is when the administration plans to give Congress its mandatory 90-day notification of the new trade deal.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the president’s National Economic Council, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, said in separate interviews today that concessions from Canada on dairy are essential to getting a deal by Friday.
LISTEN: Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole discusses the problems with the federal government’s approach to NAFTA talks
The Trudeau government has previously pledged to protect its supply management system, but Canada has opened up limited access to its dairy market in previous trade talks, including its comprehensive pact with the European Union.