Trudeau uses pandemic-plagued supply chains in free trade speech for ASEAN

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OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has used the specter of twisted global supply chains in his latest bid for a bloc of Southeast Asian nations to win them over in a free trade deal.

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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 parties, especially if it were to emerge from the pandemic.

In a prerecorded message, Trudeau argues that an agreement with ASEAN would help companies and entrepreneurs establish connections and business relationships around the world.

It also says that a pact would give investors more confidence to invest in international markets and protect supply chains from uncertainties caused by COVID-19.

Trade bottlenecks around the world have recovered more slowly than consumer demand for goods, and have been further slowed by ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks and public health measures.

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