U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday that President Trump is “fully prepared” to move ahead on trade “with or without” Canada’s involvement.
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“This deal is pretty well put together with Mexico,” Ross told FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell. “So the president, as he’s indicated, is fully prepared to go ahead with or without Canada.”
Canadian officials said Monday they would only sign a new trade agreement if it benefitted the country and its middle class.
“We are in regular contact with our negotiating partners, and we will continue to work toward a modernized NAFTA,” a spokesperson for Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement. “We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class. Canada’s signature is required.”
Ross said the administration is hopeful Canada will come in to the trade agreement.
“I think it’s a good idea if they do,” he said. “There’s really not much they should object to. But if not, they will then have to be treated as a real outsider.”
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that he thinks a trade deal with Canada could be completed this week.
“I think our objective is to try to get Canada aboard quickly,” he said during an interview on CNBC.
The U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement on Monday to enter a new trade deal, which will be called “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.” The trade pact will likely be signed by the end of November, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The previous deal between the two countries will be scrapped, according to Trump.
“It’s a big day for trade, it’s a bid day for our country,” Trump said when announcing the deal from the Oval Office. “A lot of people thought we’d never get here because we all negotiate tough – we do, so does Mexico.”