DANANG, Vietnam – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone when Canada declined to sign an agreement-in-principle Friday on an updated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Trudeau’s decision to keep negotiating for a better deal in the 11-country pact led to the abrupt cancellation of a TPP leaders’ meeting on the sidelines of an APEC summit.
His move created international headlines because foreign media reports had predicted TPP partners would reach an agreement when they gathered for the APEC event in Vietnam.
But Trudeau says anyone who had paid closer attention would have noticed his signals all week that Canada would not be rushed into a TPP deal unless it was right for Canadians.
Speaking to reporters today to close the APEC summit in Danang, Trudeau says the TPP trade ministers still made some progress by agreeing to several changes that moved the talks closer to a agreement.
But Trudeau says despite the improvements there’s still more work to do, particularly when it comes to protecting Canada’s auto and cultural sectors.