Trudeau to face skeptical Midwest students on first leg of U.S. trade trip

OTTAWA — A former top adviser to Barack Obama says he hopes Justin Trudeau makes the case for trade when he addresses a group of skeptical American students this week.

The topic of free trade and the negotiation of a renewed North American free trade pact will be hard to avoid when the prime minister takes the stage Wednesday at the University of Chicago with David Axelrod, who served in Obama’s administration.

Free trade is a delicate issue in the American Midwest where there is a feeling the North American Free Trade Agreement has led to declines in industrial jobs, Axelrod says.

Axelrod says he hopes Trudeau will make the case for trade, because some in the audience will be skeptical of it.

The stop in Chicago will be Trudeau’s first on a four-day swing through the United States where he is also expected to push trade during stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The next round of NAFTA negotiations faces multiple sticking points that negotiators hope to sort out before a presidential election in Mexico and U.S. congressional midterms that could disrupt talks.

The Canadian Press

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