White House Disparages Canada; Gives It 90 Days to Accept NAFTA Terms

Labor News

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer pose for a photo after addressing the media to close the second round of NAFTA talks. Photo credit: Reuters

Reprinted from The New York Times by Ana Swanson and Alan Rappeport on August 31, 2018.

The Trump administration eased off its threat to exclude Canada from the North American Free Trade Agreement, extending talks that were set to end on Friday while warning that the Canadians must be “willing” to accept the United States’ terms.

After four days of marathon negotiations between Canadian and American officials failed to produce an agreement, the White House told Congress that it would enter into a revised trade deal with Mexico and that it was up to Canada to decide whether to remain in the trilateral NAFTA pact.

“Today the president notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico — and Canada, if it is willing — 90 days from now,” Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, said in a statement. …

NY Times 8/31

 

Reprinted from The New York Times by Alan Rappeport and Ana Swanson on August 31, 2018.

The Trump administration told Congress on Friday that it intends to enter into a revised North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and will continue working to keep Canada in the pact as talks between the United States and Canada move into next week.

While sticking points still remain between the United States and Canada, the decision to try and keep a trilateral deal is a significant win for NAFTA supporters and an indication that the Trump administration, despite its threats to leave its Northern neighbor behind, wants to keep Canada in the pact.

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“Today the President notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico — and Canada, if it is willing — 90 days from now,” Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, said in a statement. Lighthizer called the ongoing talks with Canada “constructive” and said “our officials are continuing to work toward agreement.” …

NY Times 8/31

 

Trump Confirms Toronto Star Story on his Secret Bombshell Remarks About Canada

Reprinted from The Toronto Star by Daniel Dale on August 31, 2018.

High-stakes trade negotiations between Canada and the US were dramatically upended on Friday morning after inflammatory secret remarks by President Donald Trump were obtained by The Toronto Star.

Trump’s comments were viewed by Canadian negotiators as evidence for their suspicions that the US was not making a legitimate effort to compromise. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s officials confronted the president’s officials with the leaked quotes at a high-level meeting on Friday morning.

Trump’s words caused a US media firestorm. By the end of the day, Trump had confirmed the accuracy of The Star’s report, said he was fine with the leak because now Canada knows his true feelings, and also complained at length that the leak was a breach of his trust. …

Trump said that any deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” …

Toronto Star 8/31

 

NAFTA Talks Between US and Canada Turn Tense as Deadline Looms

Reprinted from The New York Times by Alan Rappeport on August 31, 2018.

Trade negotiations between the United States and Canada headed down to the wire on Friday morning, as both countries struggled to make concessions on their priorities, raising the prospect that talks to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement could falter.

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The Trump administration had set a Friday deadline to strike a deal with Canada, threatening to move ahead with a bilateral trade pact with just Mexico if an agreement between the three countries could not be reached. After three days of marathon meetings and optimism about a deal, tension between Canada and the United States became evident on Friday morning.

President Trump continues to insist that Canada make concessions on dairy and drop the tariffs it charges on American exports. On Friday morning, the United States trade representative put out a statement saying that no such concessions had yet been agreed to by Canada. …

NY Times 8/31

About Jeffrey Burman 5296 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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