Trudeau uses pandemic-plagued supply chains in free trade pitch to ASEAN

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has used the spectre of gnarled global supply chains in his latest bid to a bloc of Southeast Asian nations to win them over on a free trade deal.

Trudeau has long sought a trade deal with the 10-nation bloc, which includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.

He tells a virtual business summit organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that a free trade agreement with Canada would be a “win-win” for all sides, particularly coming out of the pandemic.

Speaking in a pre-recorded message, Trudeau argues that an agreement with ASEAN would help companies and entrepreneurs build connections and business relationships around the world.

He also says a pact would give investors more confidence to invest in international markets, and protect supply chains from the uncertainties brought by COVID-19.

Trade bottlenecks across the globe have been slower to recover than consumer demand for goods, and slowed further by ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks and public health measures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2021.

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