OTTAWA Jan 9 Senior Canadian officials have met
several times with advisers to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
in Washington in an effort to avert a possible trade war once he
takes office this month, the Globe and Mail newspaper said on
Trump vowed during his election campaign to either scrap or
renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada
and Mexico, saying the two-decade old deal had been bad for
American workers. This could have disastrous consequences for
Canada, which sends 75 percent of its exports to the United
The Globe said Gerald Butts and Katie Telford - Prime
Minister's Justin Trudeau's two top aides - had met Trump's
son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his chief strategist, Steve
Bannon, and believed they had established a decent relationship.
The paper cited one official as saying the Trump
administration "does not believe in free trade," which could
pose challenges for Canada.
"They (the Trump team) think the basic problem in the world
is that China has stolen a bunch of American manufacturing jobs
that they are hell-bent on getting back," the official said.
Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad, asked about the report,
said "meetings have indeed been happening at every level" but
gave no details.
The Trump transition team did not immediately respond to a
request for comment on the report.
Canada's trade minister, pressed about the potential impact
of Trump's presidency, said last Friday there was no question of
separating the two nations' economies.
In a video address last week to the new U.S. Congress,
Trudeau stressed the closeness of the links between the Canadian
and U.S. economies.
Trump, a Republican, won election in November and takes
office on Jan. 20.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Frances Kerry)