Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

President Trump's leaked 'off-record' comments complicate trade deal with Canada

President Trump's leaked 'off-record' comments complicate trade deal with Canada

Also, Congress must approve any rewrite of NAFTA, signed under President Bill Clinton, and might refuse to endorse a deal that leaves longtime ally Canada on the sidelines.

Trump's caution to Congress to "not interfere with these negotiations" appeared to refer to one potential obstacle: the fact that lawmakers have empowered him to reach a so-called "fast track" agreement with both NAFTA partners, not just Mexico.

The U.S. wants it out of the deal, but Canada says it must be included.

"If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", he wrote.

He says on Twitter that a deal will go ahead with or without Canada's involvement, and if Congress tries to intervene, he will "terminate NAFTA entirely".

Trump tweeted that the U.S. was "far better off before Nafta - should never have been signed". The deal would then not be a reworked version of NAFTA, but a bilateral U.S. -Mexico trade deal.

The Toronto Star proclaims them "secret bombshell remarks": off-the-record comments President Trump made about Canada in an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday that were leaked to the Star.

On Sunday, Trumka had also questioned Trump's Saturday tweet that there was no need to keep Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Krzysztof Pelc, a political science professor at McGill University, said Trump is likely using the threat of excluding Canada to obtain more concessions in areas such as supply management and dispute resolution.

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Trump previously set a deadline for Friday to reach the trilateral deal. It will hold another round of talks on Wednesday that would suggest whether Canada will agree to the US' demands, said an analyst in Geneva, who asked not to be quoted.

"With goodwill and flexibility on all sides we can get there", she said.

After all, the mutual lifting of trade barriers should result in more competition, which should translate into more consumer choice and, therefore, lower prices.

If they can't strike an agreement that is good to the U.S.

The new NAFTA includes a higher percentage of locally-produced components in autos, a requirement that a percentage of vehicles must come from high wage factories, tougher worker protections and a provision to review the 16-year deal every six years.

But under U.S. trade rules, the United States team does not have to make public the text of the revamped agreement for 30 additional days, buying more time to reach a deal with the Canadians. "If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", he wrote. "I think the key decision was freezing Canada out and then negotiating directly with Mexico". He was involved in tough negotiations for the Canada-U.S.

One individual pointed out that when it comes to hypocritical support of American workers, Trump is not alone. He added, "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before".

Gorka noted Canada has a almost 300-percent tariff on US dairy imports, while the European Union taxes USA vehicle imports at a rate approximately four times higher than the USA tax on European-made cars.

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