Trump, NAFTA and Global Trade | US & Canada

Virginia Carson
September 3, 2018

On Friday, Trump notified Congress he would be signing a revamped deal with Mexico within 90 days, regardless of whether Canada joined or not. However, Canada and the US did not meet the negotiating deadline, and talks are to continue this week.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to criticize Canada's trade history with the U.S. "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.

"If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", Trump said via Twitter, threatening to terminate the 24-year-old trilateral trade deal.

"Remember, NAFTA was one of the WORST Trade Deals ever made".

"We are replacing NAFTA with a lovely, brand new US-Mexico trade deal", Mr Trump told a crowd in IN last night.

Tensions between the USA and Canada heightened on Friday, after the Toronto Star obtained and published off-the-record remarks Trump made in an interview with Bloomberg News, during which he admitted that he would not make any compromises in order to secure an agreement.

Trump also warned USA lawmakers, who have become increasingly uneasy that the new trade deal, formally signalled in a letter to Congress Friday, might not include Canada.

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Any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms", the Toronto Star quoted Trump as saying in an off-the-record aside during an interview with Bloomberg News.

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

The most striking example involves one of the biggest investments Canadians make - buying a vehicle.

"My negotiating counterparty is Ambassador Lighthizer and, as I've said, he has brought good faith and goodwill to the table", she said when asked directly about Trump's comments.

"They've essentially divided Canada and Mexico".

The U.S. -Mexico deal sought to end the mass exodus of manufacturing from the U.S., especially with automakers. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office says that U.S. exports to Canada are up 181 per cent from 1993 and U.S. exports of services to Canada are up from pre-NAFTA levels by some 243 per cent. Trump already has been warned that a trade deal that just includes Mexico would have a hard time getting approved in Congress unless Canada was included, according to Reuters.

"I love Canada. But they've taken advantage of our country for many years".

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The U.S. and Mexico negotiated a new pact to replace NAFTA, snubbing Canada in the process.

But under US trade rules, the USA team doesn't have to make public the text of the revamped agreement for 30 additional days, buying more time to reach a deal with the Canadians.

It is still unclear whether the United States and Canada will work out their differences in the next few weeks.

Mr. Trump wants Canada to end its tariffs on dairy products, which can run almost 300 percent.

For now, the Canadians are insisting they won't be rattled by Trump's Saturday warning that Canada could be left out of a revised North American Free Trade Agreement.

A short time later, he added: "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before. So, overall, workers aren't doing as well".

The current requirement is that about 62 per cent of parts be produced in the U.S., Mexico or Canada.

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