Trump Humiliated After ‘Behind The Scenes’ NAFTA/Canada Tantrum Leaked To Media


For all his talk of being a great negotiator, President Donald Trump has so far failed to deliver on a number of issues. This past week, he announced that American and Mexican negotiators struck a deal for the future of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which besides the U.S. and Mexico includes Canada. The United States’ northern neighbors might not be too anxious to get on board with that agreement, though, thanks to some private Trump comments obtained by the Toronto Star.

The president sat down with Bloomberg this past week, and a number of high profile moments from that interview have already made rounds. According to the Star, though, Trump made some off-the-record comments that warrant serious attention too.

Asked about willingness to make compromises with Canada in the ongoing trade negotiations, Trump told Bloomberg reporters:

‘Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. 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… I can’t kill these people.’

He added that any forthcoming U.S. deal with the Canadians would be “totally on our terms.”

The comments have already impacted trade negotiations. Although Trump may have previously wanted to shift any blame for stalling onto the Canadians, it’s harder for him to do that thanks to his behind the scenes assertions that he’s not interested in any compromises, at all.

During a Friday meeting including U.S. and Canadian officials, the Canadians raised the issue of the remarks. The Canadian government, though, offered no official comment on what actually happened in that meeting, which on the Canadian side included Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior adviser Gerald Butts, among others.

The interactions were already set to be tense because of an informal Friday deadline for reaching a deal with Canada to accompany the U.S. one with Mexico.

Now, questions continue about the future of the trade relationship between the three major North American countries.

Ironically, should talks with the Canadians completely collapse and the U.S. and Mexico move forward without them, Trump would again be putting the very American economic interests in harm’s way who he’s claimed to be hellbent on protecting.

President and chief executive of the National Association of Manufacturers Jay Timmons explained:

‘Because of the massive amount of movement of goods between the three countries and the integration of operations which make manufacturing in our country more competitive, it is imperative that a trilateral agreement be inked.’

The Alliance of Auto Manufacturers added:

‘Automakers urge the U.S. and Mexico to quickly re-engage with Canada to continue to build on this progress.’

As for specifics of a deal, the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to new rules governing items like car manufacturing, demanding that more of the production process be kept in North America — and local — in order for the cars to qualify for NAFTA’s zero-tariff provisions.

Concern about leaving Canada out of a future version of NAFTA has extended beyond car maufacturers — and the National Association of Manufacturers — to include other industry interests and even some Congressional Republicans like Senators Pat Toomey and Lamar Alexander.

For now, though, the Trump administration is maintaining its about-face.

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters asserted Friday:

‘The Canadian and American negotiators continue to work on reaching a win-win deal that benefits both countries.’

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