Trump says 'no political necessity' to keep Canada in NAFTA

Adjust Comment Print

We don't know ... but continuing down the prior path of economic appeasement was not an option.

US officials said negotiations with their Canadian counterparts will continue next week, and Canada may join the US-Mexico agreement "if it is willing".

Nothing he said prepared his supporters for concluding a new free trade deal with Mexico, while leaving Canada on the sidelines - nothing has, really, been "concluded" with Mexico just yet, and Trump's base seems barely to have noticed the turnaround.

Lighthizer's office accused Canada of making no compromises on dairy-market access.

Similarly, Canadian officials told The Canadian Press early on Friday that expectations a NAFTA deal is imminent are exaggerated and premature. "It may be by Friday or it may be within a period of time", Trump said. If I say no, then you're going to put that, and it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal. The Star cited an anonymous source and claimed not to be bound by the agreement to keep the comment off the record.


Trump tweeted about the comments Friday, saying "At least Canada knows where I stand!". He also reportedly acknowledged using tariffs on automobile imports as a weapon to negotiate more favorable terms for the United States. I am used to it. Freeland, on the other hand, said that Canada has offered concessions on dairy.

Lighthizer said the White House had informed Congress Friday that it intends to sign a new free trade deal with Mexico - and possibly with Canada - within 90 days.

It was about 10:30 pm when Chrystia Freeland emerged from a meeting with Robert Lighthizer, saying she had but a few words with the US Trade Representative. "He has brought good faith and good will to the table".

Turning to Canada, he said: "I think it is going to happen and we really have developed a really good relationship". The deal also proposes requiring a significant portion of automobile parts - 75 percent - be made in the US and Mexico. He also said any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".

In February 2017, Mexico's Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray and its Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo visited Toronto and received reassurances Canada wanted to work with Mexico. The Impala is manufactured by General Motors at its Oshawa, Ontario plant.


Freeland studiously avoided talking about the remarks all day, never once mentioning the president by name during her multiple media appearances, including a long-awaited news conference at the Canadian embassy.

"We are at a very delicate moment, obviously, at the negotiations, and the first thing we agreed upon is that we wouldn't issue any comment on what we discussed and what we heard", Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard told reporters.

It would now be interesting to see if the pair is able to build on the attempted recovery move as the focus now shifts to the release of prelim US Q2 GDP growth figures and Canadian current account data for some fresh impetus. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. -Canada negotiations had initially generated hopeful signals from both camps that a deal could be struck by the end of the week - but hard discussions about dairy and dispute settlement persisted.

Trump argues Canada's hefty dairy tariffs are hurting US farmers, an important political base for his Republican Party - though his tariff actions against China have virtually eliminated USA soybean sales there. Joshua Mahony, a market analyst at online trading group IG, said: "Global markets have staged a remarkable turnaround over the second half of the week, as the optimism about the US-Mexico deal on Monday faded into a more pessimistic phase where traders have to worry about a potential further breakdown in US relations with China, Canada and the World Trade Organisation".


Comments