Andrew Scheer, top Trudeau rival signals he won’t reopen overhauled Nafta deal

Andrew Scheer (Photo: Archive)

(Bloomberg) — The Conservative leading in polls ahead of Canada’s fall election won’t reopen the country’s recent trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico, a spokesman says.

Andrew Scheer, whose party is beating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in polls, has been a regular critic of the trade deal — referred to as the USMCA in the U.S., and CUSMA in Canada — including in a keynote foreign policy speech delivered on Tuesday. The U.S., Canada and Mexico signed the pact in November, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. It still needs to be ratified.

“Canadians had to accept a worse deal on Nafta after Mr. Trudeau and his negotiating team turned critical trade negotiations into a parade of photo-ops, sound bites, and orchestrated media leaks,” Scheer said in his speech. He has regularly criticized Trudeau for “capitulating” and his “failure to get a better deal.”

His speech was silent on whether Scheer supports either ratifying the deal as is, despite what he sees as shortcomings, or seeking changes, as some American lawmakers are attempting amid push-back from U.S. business. However, a spokesman said the Canadian opposition leader wouldn’t reopen the deal if elected.

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