Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the Liberal Party National Caucus meeting in Saskatoon on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

Trudeau says Liberals looking for right NAFTA deal despite looming deadline

Ottawa and Washington are working to reach an agreement that needs to be submitted to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is brushing aside pressure for his government to finalize a renewed free trade deal with the United States before the end the month.

Ottawa and Washington are working to reach an agreement that needs to be submitted to the U.S. Congress by Oct. 1 in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico in August.

Trudeau says Canada’s negotiators have seen multiple deadlines imposed on talks, only to see negotiations continue long past them.

Related: Freeland not returning immediately to Washington after briefing PM on NAFTA

Related: Free-trade father figure Mulroney urges Ottawa to make a deal on NAFTA

Speaking to reporters at a caucus retreat, the prime minister says negotiators will work as quickly as they can to finalize an agreement, but plan to make sure they get the right deal for Canadians, not just any deal.

Negotiations, Trudeau says, are at a constant pace.

Trudeau’s comments came at the end of a caucus retreat aimed at plotting strategy for next week’s resumption of Parliament and laying the ground work for the run up to next year’s federal election.

Trudeau kicked off the Liberal caucus retreat on Wednesday with a distinct election flavour, touting the government’s record on aid for Canada’s middle class and stating emphatically that his party will always stand up for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Canadian Press

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