The Council of the Federation is underway in Edmonton this week.
With NAFTA negotiations expected to begin by the middle of next month, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says Canada should be preparing now for the possibility of stalled talks.
Speaking at the meeting in Edmonton, Wall says the federal government should pull together a list of American products it can retaliate against, saying Americans are probably doing the same thing.
While he says he doubts Canada will need the list, Wall says it’s better to come into the discussions from a position of strength
“We should begin in a tactical and strategic way, begin to populate a list,” Wall said in a media scrum from Edmonton. “In a very quiet, calm and non-disclosed way, a list we may retaliate against if things get off the rail. I think it would be wise to have that sooner rather than later.”
Wall says Canada has handled the situation well thus far, but says the Trudeau government needs to be ready in the event talks are derailed.
The meetings promote continued and expanding partnerships between the provinces, territories and aboriginal leaders.
The U-S says it wants the new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement to offer better access for U-S agriculture exports, freer trade in telecommunications and an overhaul of the dispute-settlement system.
The Trump administration released its goals for NAFTA renegotiations on Monday.
In the meantime, the premiers met with a reduced group of Indigenous leaders Monday in Edmonton after three national bodies — including the Assembly of First Nations — boycotted the event.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde is demanding a “full and meaningful inclusion” in the larger annual gathering of provincial and territorial leaders.
Host Premier Rachel Notley says progress was made on issues of shared concern with the two Indigenous groups that did attend.