OTTAWA (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain will take his free trade message to Canada next week, reinforcing his stance on a divisive election issue.

McCain, an avowed free-trader, is to speak to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa on June 20, the club announced Wednesday. McCain has criticized his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, for saying he would renegotiate the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which is credited for record exports by Republicans but blamed for job losses by many Democrats.

"You know what message that sends? That no agreement is sacred to him," McCain told reporters Thursday in Boston.

Neither McCain nor his staff would confirm his travel plans, though he is said to be considering other trips abroad. "We're looking at a lot of different places that maybe I should go, so we have no definite plans."

Trade is a powerful election year issue, particularly in industrial states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio that have sustained job losses. McCain has argued that expanded training and educational programs would help workers who are displaced from their jobs because of global trade.