Justin Trudeau announces deal on Canadian pork, mining with Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Canada’s prime minister and his Argentine counterpart took direct aim Thursday at the walls of protectionism set to be erected around the United States, saying that freer trade is the best way to pull their countries out of economic uncertainty.Justin Trudeau and Mauricio Macri said there is real anxiety that progress and global trade have resulted in people being left behind or children being robbed of the same opportunities afforded their parents and grandparents.Story continues belowGlobal NewsREAD MORE: How Trump’s immigration crackdown could raise food prices for CanadiansThat anxiety has propelled anti-trade and anti-immigration movements in various places around the world, the most compelling examples of which are the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. and Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.“It is an indisputable fact that trade is good for economic growth and can and should be good for all citizens,” Trudeau told a news conference Thursday.“The challenge we’re facing right now is to demonstrate that we can create trade deals that give benefits to small and medium-sized enterprises, that give benefits to the middle class and to the communities they call home. That’s exactly where Mauricio and I agree entirely.”Speaking in Spanish, Macri said his government believes that trade is the way to raise his citizens out of poverty, alleviate pressure on middle income earners and help the country’s finances overall.He could use the help.READ MORE: Can Canada escape Donald Trump’s NAFTA crosshairs unscathed?Macri is moving the country to the political centre after years of populist, nationalistic governments. He has made changes to currency rules, the tax code and the central statistics office in an effort to rebuild credibility and investor interest.But Macri’s moves have been problematic for Argentines: their currency fell in value by 30 per cent after controls were removed, some 200,000 jobs have been lost based on estimates from the Argentina Center of Political Economy, and the loss of energy subsidies has seen electricity costs shoot up by about 300 per cent.Domestic polling figures suggest the majority of Argentines are not pleased with the state of affairs in their country.“We are paying for decisions we have made in the past. They weren’t bad decisions, but they have a cost,” said Melisa Argibay Rojas, who says she struggles to pay her electricity bills in the Argentine capital.WATCH: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces that Canada has reached an agreement with Argentina to help them resettle 3,000 Syrian refugees  

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