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Donald Trump says he was ready to “terminate” the North American free-trade agreement by the end of this week until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto talked him out of it in a pair of emergency telephone calls.

Patrick Leblond, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said senior Canadian business leaders should join the government’s back-door diplomatic efforts.

“There are a lot of North American companies, American companies, Canadian companies that are big on either side of the border and those companies need to bring that message to Washington and explain that the world...

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