President Trump, “Canada Will be Out’ of Trade Deal Unless It’s ‘Fair'”
Saturday, US President Donald Trump warned Canada that it “will be out” of a revised North American trade agreement unless it’s “fair” to the United States, and he threatened to scrap the current deal should Congress “interfere” with the negotiations.
“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal,” President Trump said in 1 of a series of Tweets as he visited his Virginia golf club Saturday afternoon.
But, it is not clear whether the Trump administration has the authority to strike a deal with just Mexico, as it announced Monday, and exclude Canada.
Congress must approve any rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NADTA) , signed under President Bill Clinton, and might refuse to endorse a deal that leaves longtime ally Canada on the sidelines.
It is clear that President Trump can scrap NAFTA though and sign a new bi-lateral trade agreement with Mexico
Talks to keep Canada in the trade bloc are to resume this coming week as Washington and Ottawa try to break a deadlock over issues such as Canada’s dairy market and US efforts to shield drug companies from generic competition.
“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,” said a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. “With good will and flexibility on all sides, a win-win-win outcome is achievable. Canada, of course, will only sign a deal which is good for Canada.”
President Trump notified Congress on Friday that he plans to sign an agreement in 90 days with Mexico to replace NAFTA and hopes Canada can brought on board, too.
Congress would have to approve any agreement.
“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we do not make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” President Trump Tweeted. “Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off…”
Canada he said, “they’ve taken advantage of our Country for many years!”
A US-Mexico deal was made Monday excluded Canada. Then Ms. Freeland traveled to Washington for talks aimed at preserving Canada’s membership in the regional trade agreement.
Ms. Freeland could not break an impasse with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. American and Canadian negotiators will return to negotiations on Wednesday, 5 September.
A few weeks ago, the United States began negotiating with Mexico, leaving Canada on the sidelines.
Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wanted to sign a deal before he left office on 1 December. The deal announced Monday would, among many other things, require that 40% to 45% of a car be made in a North American country where auto workers made at least $16/hour before qualifying for duty-free status. Mexican auto workers do not make $16/hour
Canada doesn’t have much of an objection to the auto provisions of the US-Mexican deal, which would benefit Canadian workers too.
Ottawa does have other complaints, but the US and Canadian negotiators are talking publicly about the issues that divide them.
Have a terrific holiday weekend.