Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Canada-U.S. trade talks break down without a deal

Donald Trump Modal Trigger Getty Images
| 03 September, 2018, 20:42

President Trump reaffirms a new trade deal with Mexico can be made without Canada, and advises Congress to stay out of the matter. However, Canada and the USA did not meet the negotiating deadline, and talks are to continue this week.

The U.S. and Mexico reached a deal on Monday that excluded Canada.

"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 Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

In Charlotte, Trump added that if the USA does not reach a deal with Canada, "that's just fine", offering a variation of one of the lines leaked to the Toronto Star paper: "I say affectionately, we'll just have to tariff those cars coming in, that's a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States". According to a study on the deal effects back in 2013, NAFTA was directly responsible for raising the United States trade deficit with Mexico from $17 billion to $177 billion, and cost the U.S. over 850,000 jobs. And we will only agree to a deal that is a good deal for Canada. And Trump has further threatened to put 25 percent tariffs on cars and auto parts sent from Canada into the United States - a move he could make without Congress' permission.

President Trump notified Congress on Friday that he plans to sign an agreement in 90 days with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement - and hopes Canada can brought on board, too.

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", Trump tweeted Friday.

Ms Freeland said she had remained in close touch with her Mexican and U.S. counterparts throughout the summer and had already achieved "a high-level agreement with the US" on some of the pending issues on autos and labour rights.


Canada is the No. 1 destination for American products shipped overseas, and more than 8 million U.S.jobs are supported by trade with Canada, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Another key issue is USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, though it's unclear whether relief from those will be included. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office says that U.S. exports to Canada are up 181 per cent from 1993 and U.S. exports of services to Canada are up from pre-NAFTA levels by some 243 per cent.

Trump's bilateral deal with Mexico is "like the renegotiation of the Korean trade agreement", points out Evenett. "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 simply granting more American access to Canada's dairy market "is something where I think that you wouldn't necessarily see big movements in terms of benefits to consumers". "This is a very complex agreement and we are going to continue working at it.

Canada desperately wants to retain its membership in NAFTA and will come under enormous pressure this week to make concessions to the Americans in the areas of dairy products and investment disputes".

In follow-up tweets, the president hailed economic growth, adding: "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before!"

For now, the Canadians are insisting they won't be rattled by Trump's Saturday warning that Canada could be left out of a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. "So, overall, workers aren't doing as well".

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