Saturday October 14, 2017

Canada looking at 'alternative proposals' to NAFTA

International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks with the media in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday, February 16, 2017.

International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks with the media in Berlin, Germany, on Thursday, February 16, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Listen 10:44

Despite some of Donald Trump's rhetoric, Canada's International Trade Minister Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne doesn't believe NAFTA talks are doomed, but says Canada is keeping its options open.

"It's never going to be easy. This was not meant to be an easy process," he said in an interview with The House.  

Champagne said the prime minister has been engaging with the presidents of the U.S. and Mexico and that Canada wants to be at the NAFTA table, offering "alternative proposals."

He added that Mexico is an important relationship for Canada, one the government is nurturing with other trading blocs, such at the Pacific Alliance.  

"Clearly what we want to be is NAFTA first," Champagne said. "We're there, we're being constructive. But also we're looking at options."