Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Kenora, Ont.: Canada is pleased with a decision by the United States to drop a planned border adjustment tax and is ready to work on an improved free trade deal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

The tariff-like tax was floated earlier this year by the U.S. administration as a way to pay for overall lower U.S. tax rates, but was dropped earlier this week.

“The border adjustment tax would have been a serious impediment to trade with Canada and we’re glad that it’s not being moved forward with,” Trudeau said during a brief tour of cottage country in northwestern Ontario.

Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are to meet next month to discuss possible changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Trump administration has released a long list of changes it wants, including the elimination of a dispute-settlement panel that has ruled in favour of Canada on softwood lumber.

Trudeau said Canada will approach the negotiations with a positive goal.

“Our arguments are always going to be that the right deal, improving the deal, will benefit all of us, and that’s what we’re going to stay focused on.”

Trudeau later raised the trade talks while he was speaking to a few hundred people at a community barbecue. He said it was not a day for political speeches, but he wanted to raise the importance of “making sure we navigate carefully and well the relationship with our biggest neighbour to the south.”

“It’s really important that as we get into NAFTA renegotiations that we continue to demonstrate that Canada is engaged in a thoughtful, responsible way that stands up for Canada’s interests but that recognizes that Canada’s interests and Americans’ interests align in many ways.”

Trudeau took to Lake of The Woods briefly with his daughter Ella-Grace for a 20-minute boat tour.

He was to speak at the opening of the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg on Friday night.