15:52 GMT01 December 2020
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    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined a US proposal on Wednesday to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement and sign a bilateral trade pact.

    "We have, on various occasions, heard the president speak about his interest or his musings about a bilateral deal instead of the trilateral NAFTA that we have," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated. "

    Commenting on the recently introduced US tariffs on steel and aluminum later in the day, Canada's Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne called it the attack on the world economic order.

    "What we are seeing is that the world economic order is under pressure, under attack," Champagne stated.

    A similar position on the trade row with the US was voiced earlier by Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, who stated that his country sees NAFTA as a more beneficial option for all sides.

    READ MORE: Canada 'Insulted' by the US Viewing It as Threat to National Security - Trudeau

    The statements follow Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow's interview with Fox News, during which he revealed that the US president was looking into signing separate bilateral agreements with Canada and Mexico instead of preserving NAFTA. The official underlined that Trump was especially interested in reaching such an agreement with Ottawa.

    READ MORE: Trump Wants Bilateral Deal With Ottawa Instead of NAFTA - White House

    Trade Row With the US

    The situation around the future of the NAFTA deal became uncertain after US President Donald Trump announced the introduction of 25% import tariffs on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum for many countries, including its allies, in a bid to "fix the trade balance." Canada, Mexico and European countries were temporarily relieved of the measure, but when the deadline arrived, Trump decided not to prolong the relief.

    import tariffs, NAFTA, Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump, Canada, US, Mexico
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