OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Despite no signs of a pending agreement, the Trudeau government doesn’t appear to be worried as the U.S.-imposed NAFTA deadline quickly approaches.“We are not going to be rushed into signing a bad deal,” Andrew Leslie, the Parliamentary Secretary on U.S. relations, says, adding conversations continue between Canadian and U.S. officials and that it remains to be seen what could happen over the weekend.Mexico and the United States announced their own bilateral deal last month, sparking a renewed round of negotiations between Washington and Ottawa to bring to bring Canada into the NAFTA fold.However, Canada’s transport minister is dismissing the October 1st cutoff as just a creation of the U.S.“There is no deadline on this, as far as we are concerned, we want a deal that is good for Canadians, and that’s the bottom line,” Marc Garneau, who also chairs the cabinet committee on U.S.-relations, says.President Donald Trump has threatened auto tariffs if there is no agreement, however, Leslie says Ottawa is prepared if that happens.“One of the options which relies, and will remain open to Canada, is to respond in kind much akin to that which we did for steel and aluminum,” Leslie says.While there is no indication of any formal high level meetings before the Monday deadline, Leslie adds anything is possible.“It means that we’re going to stay calm. We’re going to remain focused in trying to get a good deal for Canadians and protect our jobs and workers. We’re not going to be distracted from that imperative.”He adds if a deal is not struck by the 1st, it will just be the status quo since the current NAFTA will remain in place.Latest U.S. NAFTA deadline not firm but Canada’s window closing, say insidersWith the release of the text of the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement expected any day, the political pressure is mounting on Canada to join a new North American Free Trade Agreement.Analysts and insiders say the latest American-imposed deadline for Canada to join by Monday is not set in stone, and that there is still time for the Liberal government to negotiate with the Trump administration after that.But they caution the window is closing and Canada’s time may be running out.The release of the formal text will come ahead of its formal presentation to U.S. Congress by month’s end, so the lawmakers can approve it by Dec. 1 before the new Mexican government takes power.U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will pursue a trade deal with or without Canada. He has already imposed hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, using a section of U.S. trade law that gives him the authority to do that for national security reasons.The Trudeau government has branded the 232 tariffs illegal and insulting given the close security relationship between Canada and the U.S., including their shared membership in Norad, which defends North American airspace.