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Brexit and NAFTA dispute making firms wary, says Canadian minister

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By David Milliken

(Reuters) - There are parallels between the way companies in and Britain are holding back on investment as they wait for clarity on the re-negotiation of NAFTA and the outcome of talks on a Brexit deal, Canada's minister said on Monday.

"Certainly anecdotally in there are some businesses that are being cautious about investments because there is an expectation that NAFTA could be slightly different tomorrow than it was yesterday," said in a speech in

"I just assume that is a similar situation here. Hopefully (that's) one to be overcome as more clarity comes out."

Morneau reiterated that he hoped would have at least as good a trade arrangement with Britain after Brexit as now, taking its current CETA deal with the EU as a model, and said close ties with Britain remained critically important.

and have won exemption from U.S Donald Trump's planned tariffs on and aluminium imports, pending renegotiation of the 24-year-old Free Trade Agreement.

Morneau said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the three countries would be able to reach agreement on changes to NAFTA requested by the Canada's ability to avoid the tariffs was positive for the future of the trade treaty, he added.

"The demonstration of our relationship that came through this discussion bodes well for the future, in terms of any future discussion around tariffs or for that matter around NAFTA," he told reporters after his speech.

Rising trade protectionism was a concern that wanted to raise in the group of major economies, Morneau said.

The has drawn up a list of potential retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including bourbon and blue jeans, if it faces additional charges on its exports of and aluminium to the

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Andrew Roche)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 16:29 IST