Trump threatens to exclude Canada from new NAFTA deal

Anna Jefferson
September 3, 2018

Canada's foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, was engaged in NAFTA negotiations for the better part of last week after news broke that the USA and Mexico had tentatively agreed to a new trade pact to replace the current agreement.

Talks on renegotiating the NAFTA began in August 2017 as Trump threatened to withdraw from the trilateral trade deal, which he claimed harmed USA industries and jobs.

The U.S. and Mexico on Monday agreed on terms of their own, including changes to rules for carmakers, and Canada has rejoined face-to-face discussions to preserve NAFTA as a three-country deal after sitting more than a month on the sidelines. "If we don't make a fair deal for the United States after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", Trump tweeted on Saturday, a day after the trade negotiations with Canada were upended by leaked off-the-record remarks he made to Bloomberg. According to a study on the deal effects back in 2013, NAFTA was directly responsible for raising the USA trade deficit with Mexico from $17 billion to $177 billion, and cost the U.S. over 850,000 jobs. The deal would then not be a reworked version of NAFTA, but a bilateral U.S. -Mexico trade deal.

Earlier in the week, officials appeared close to reaching a deal that would rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement, but leaked inflammatory comments from Trump - seen by some Canadians as suggesting he was bargaining in bad faith - threatened to upend the talks.

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One person attempted to remind Trump that many corporations that have benefited from his massive tax cuts haven't used the money to create more jobs.

Trump previously set a deadline for Friday to reach the trilateral deal.

"The talks were constructive, and we made progress", Lighthizer said.

"As we've said all week, we're working toward a modernized NAFTA that is good for the middle class and people working hard to join it", spokesman Adam Austen said in a statement. They have tremendous trade barriers and they have tremendous tariffs. In addition, the union leader criticized the president over an Obama-era rule mandating additional overtime pay and for failing to pass legislation to improve US infrastructure, among other issues. For various political reasons on both sides of the Rio Grande, it was critical that the trade deal be officially presented to Congress by end of the week, so getting Canada on-board became an immediate priority. "These are deals which have been reworked to the advantage of the United States, but there are no more such renegotiations planned. this NAFTA negotiation is special - it's the last in the renegotiations that he wanted to undertake".

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Trudeau on Friday did not say if Trump's comments would impact negotiations between the USA and Canada, which will resume next week, but said his country would pursue a path that was a "win-win-win on all sides".

The U.S. and Canada failed to come to an agreement on NAFTA Friday.

In follow-up tweets, the president hailed economic growth, adding: "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before!" "So, overall, workers aren't doing as well".

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