Trudeau Praises Pacific Pact As Progressive Trade Triumph

By Paul VieiraFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday hailed a trade agreement among Pacific-Rim countries as a victory for "progressive" trade, arguing it is the right deal for Canadian workers.

His remarks were made in a speech before attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, hours after Japan unveiled an agreement among 11 countries on a revised Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. The 11 nations were close to a deal at a summit in Vietnam in November but fell short at the last minute after Canada raised objections.

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Mr. Trudeau said new elements raised by Canada and agreed to by other nations resulted in the "right deal" his Liberal government was after.

"Today is a great day for Canada and a great day for progressive trade," the Canadian leader said, adding the agreement is now "more progressive and stronger for Canadian workers on intellectual property, culture and the automotive sector."

Canada is also participating in the latest round of talks aimed at revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement, which were under way Tuesday in Montreal. Canada is also pursuing changes to Nafta that reflect what his government has called a "progressive" agenda, pushing for higher labor and environmental standards and more rights for women.

In his Davos remarks, Mr. Trudeau warned that businesses and governments haven't done enough to address the anxiety workers face from a changing global economic landscape.

He said companies need to rethink their current approach, warning that the pursuit of profit and tax avoidance while scaling back pay and benefits for workers "won't cut it anymore."

"Sitting back and hoping some other corporation -- or some other country -- volunteers to take the lead on this will get us nowhere," he said.

Write to Paul Vieira at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 23, 2018 13:47 ET (18:47 GMT)