Trump slams Canada's 'decades of abuse' after NAFTA talks stall

Jermaine Castillo
September 4, 2018

"So, the main mechanism is actually through reducing fear of the business community that the world trading system can be seriously be disrupted by any of Trump's tactics - mainly because he's just not converting his harsh Tweets into severe sanctions, other than for China, who is feeling the brunt of his particular pressure at the moment".

"The things that he's done to hurt workers outpace what he's done to help workers", Trumka said. "Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA and we will be better off", he threatened, according to The Wall Street Journal on 1 September. Per the leaked remarks published Friday, the president was discussing negotiations with Canada on a trade deal that could replace NAFTA and indicated an unwillingness to compromise, saying any deal would be "totally on our terms". "If you break off one member of this agreement, you break it all, and that would be bad news for US businesses, for American jobs, and for economic growth", Donohue said.

But the official said Washington could go ahead with just Mexico if Canada decides not to sign on to the near trade deal.

"We were far better off before NAFTA - should never have been signed".

Continetti said the key to Trump's recent trade negotiations was concentrating on Mexico and leaving Canada to one side. The president has repeatedly said the northern neighbor isn't necessary in his new trade pact.

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The president said last week that the US and Mexico have come to an understanding on the basics of a trade agreement, and said it wouldn't be called NAFTA, but Mexico continued to use the phrase.

President Trump insisted that the USA will not make any concessions during the talks with Canada, according to off-the-record remarks made to Bloomberg on 30 August.

Speaking on Fox News on Friday, Trumka acknowledged the initial agreement included some improvements over the status quo but also argued "it's pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal".

Canada doesn't have much of an objection to the auto provisions of the U.S. "If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", he tweeted.

The 24-year-old NAFTA tore down most trade barriers dividing the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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The president said Saturday on Twitter that there was "no political necessity" to keep Canada in NAFTA.

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

The Friday deadline was aimed at getting the deal approved before the December 1 inauguration of Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a far-left politician who some fear will scuttle a deal.

President Trump reaffirms a new trade deal with Mexico can be made without Canada, and advises Congress to stay out of the matter. "So, overall, workers aren't doing as well", Trumka said. Ottawa does have other complaints. The talks are scheduled to resume Wednesday in Washington.

But the talks with Canada snagged over the mechanisms used to resolve disputes among partners, and on Ottawa's strictly controlled dairy sector.

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Even if Canada doesn't join and it becomes a U.S. -Mexico accord, the administration believes it can satisfy Congress's requirements using the fast-track route, the official said. And it's considering slapping tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports after a public comment period ends Thursday.

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