Ontario Premier Doug Ford is calling on the federal government to quickly ratify the new North American Free Trade Agreement, ahead of a trip to the United States next week to promote the province’s business interests.

“This isn’t the time to play politics. Get this trade deal signed. Get it through Parliament, and let’s get moving,” Ford said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Greg Bonnell on Thursday.

Ford will be travelling to Washington, D.C. with Ontario’s economic development minister, Vic Fedeli, from Feb. 7 to Feb. 9 to meet with his stateside counterparts.

“We’re working on some bilateral trade deals. We’re gonna go state to province. I can’t wait for the federal government on both sides of the border,” he said.

His comments come one day after U.S. President Donald Trump signed the new NAFTA into law on Wednesday. Canada, the U.S. and Mexico signed an updated version of the deal in December. Mexico ratified the deal last June. Canada is the only country in the trilateral partnership yet to ratify the deal.

“There’s one thing I don’t like — and hopefully there’s a way to get around it, but we’re working on it — is this ‘Buy American,’” Ford said.

“If [Ontario] were a standalone country, we’d be America’s third-largest trading partner,” he added.

A press release Thursday from the Office of the Premier singled out Ohio, saying Ford and Fedeli are looking to continue talks with the state on job creation and removing trade restrictions.

Ford said on BNN Bloomberg that Ohio has outsourced US$2.6 billion in procurement opportunities.

“We want part of that,” he said.