Finance Minister Bill Morneau speaks to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Morneau hopes new NAFTA deal signed next week, stresses tariff issue is separate

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Canada is working with the U.S. to solve the tit-for-tat tariff dispute.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’s hopeful the newly struck North American free-trade deal will be signed next week — and suggests Canada could sign even with stinging U.S. tariffs in place.

Morneau was asked by reporters after a speech today if the government should still consider signing the new continental trade deal even if the United States keeps its heavy import taxes on Canadian aluminum and steel.

He says Canada is working with the U.S. to solve the tit-for-tat tariff dispute and he stresses Ottawa won’t make one set of negotiations contingent on another.

Morneau says there’s work going on behind the scenes to make sure the legal document defining the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (or USMCA) is exactly as agreed and adds that he has every reason to believe the work is moving along at a good pace.

He was speaking to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa this morning, one day after he released a fall economic statement packed with billions of dollars worth of tax incentives for corporate Canada.

Ottawa’s long-awaited plan to help the country compete with the United States for investment dollars comes in response to major American tax and regulatory reforms that many in the business community warn has eliminated Canada’s edge as an investment destination.

Read more: Canada could ratify new NAFTA even if U.S. tariffs stay put: Trudeau

Read more: Trudeau to meet key Pacific trade partners at APEC leaders’ summit

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: 24-hour closure coming to Tofino-Ucluelet highway this weekend

Hwy. 4 at Kennedy Hill will be shut down from 11 a.m. Feb. 22 to at 11 a.m. Feb. 23.

Ucluelet resident sounds alarm over ‘environmental disaster’

Central Westcoast Forest Society estimates bridge project at Hyphocus Island could cost $1M.

Senior A Basketball: Maaqtusiis senior teams take on the Island Championships

Senior girls play at Duncan Christian and senior boys at Nanaimo Christian this weekend.

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Most Read