Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent observation that “no NAFTA deal is better than a bad NAFTA deal” is true in theory but the government isn’t debating theoretical questions in a university classroom. It’s making a determination about whether the terms of the US-Mexico agreement on free trade are acceptable to Canada – a vital question which is anything but theoretical. Canadian jobs are at stake.

Much of the public commentary around the government’s options has adopted a similar tack to the prime minister’s. The parameters of the proposed deal are characterized as a “worst-case scenario” that will be near impossible for the prime minister and his government to accept.

We take a different view: while there are a number of outstanding issues, which include that of dispute settlement, what is on offer ought not just to be acceptable to Canada. It is emphatically in Canada’s interests.

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