Trump threatens to leave Canada out of new NAFTA deal

Dwayne Harmon
September 3, 2018

Trump said he will sign a bilateral agreement with Mexico in 90 days, which Canada can join "if it is willing". While the majority of Americans, including Congress believe we are friends with Canada, and this is a friendship that goes back hundreds of years, some people also believe Trump is no friend to Canada or anyone else, unless it suits his own personal agenda.

The U.S. president took to Twitter to claim there was "no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal", while Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland took a somewhat more upbeat tack. "We are concerned that excluding Canada from a final agreement will limit our export opportunities and hurt the USA economy", said Gary Shapiro, the head of the Consumer Technology Association, in a statement. "Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off..."

Trump has threatened to slap additional tariffs on imported autos from Canada if the two sides are unable to reach a new trade deal.

"I think the real question is where is Trump's base on Canada", he said.

Trump has charged that the deal wiped out American factory jobs.

Dispute panels are one of Canada's biggest sticking points left in talks to modernize the 24-year-old deal.

"We know a win-win-win agreement is within reach", she said.

Lighthizer added that trade negotiations are expected to continue on Wednesday next week with both Mexico and Canada. Another key issue is USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, though it's unclear whether relief from those will be included.

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Talks on a new trade deal started a year ago but bogged down over U.S. demands, including some meant to return manufacturing to the United States.

Earlier, he said he loved Canada, but says "they've taken advantage of our Country for many years!"

A few weeks ago, the United States began negotiating with Mexico, leaving Canada on the sidelines.

"So what we're pushing right now, and we are working with [United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer] is, is a way to let us effectively monitor what's going on on the ground and then enforce the agreement, regardless of who's in the White House", he said.

Under Trump's presidency, relations between the USA and Canada have become increasingly uncomfortable, with the US president encouraging a trade war with its neighbor to the north.

Trumka added that some details of the Mexico plan are positive for workers, including increasing the amount of an automobile's value that must be made in North America from 62.5 percent to 75 percent, but added the organization is pushing for the ability to monitor and enforce the terms of the deal under any future presidential administration.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the dispute between US and Canada hinges on agricultural and media protection policies, as well as the installation of a system that would allow any of the three countries in the agreement to challenge tariffs imposed by one of the others. The president has imposed wide-ranging tariffs that, he argues, will help protect American workers and force US trading partners to stop exploiting trade deals that are unfair to the United States.

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