Government officials and trade groups in Canada and Mexico hope United States governors and mayors can thwart President Trump's vow to unravel the free-trade pact.
US Vice President Mike Pence and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a meeting in Providence, Rhode Island raised the subject of further defense cooperation on a number of issues, including North Korea's nuclear threat, the White House said in a press release.
"Free trade has worked".
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Trump's fierce opposition to NAFTA has prompted Trudeau's government to reach out to USA leaders, including one-on-one meetings on Friday with Vice President Mike Pence and the governors of Kentucky, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Iowa.
He cited statistics that show Canada is the No. 1 export target for 35 USA states, claiming that 9 million U.S.jobs are dependent on cross-border commerce.
Trudeau says he is open to changing the agreement, but won't weaken his country's position.
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Pence, who also spoke to the Governors Association, said, "We will modernize NAFTA for the 21st century so it is a win-win-win for all our trade partners in North America". "And I have every expectation it will be - to the ultimate benefit of working people in all three partner countries".
He also provided veiled warnings about the consequences of the US attempting to strong-arm any renegotiation.
Though he did not single out Trump personally, Trudeau said restrictive trade policies would hurt employment on both sides of the U.S. "It's worth about a trillion dollars each year and most importantly, it's well-balanced", Trudeau said.
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