Trump renews threat to withdraw USA from NAFTA

Sep 04, 2018, 00:42
Trump renews threat to withdraw USA from NAFTA

"A Dem!" It seems that Trumka displeased the president by telling Fox News on Sunday that Canada ought to be included in NAFTA negotiations, notes the Washington Post, and that "the things that (Trump has) done to hurt workers outpace what he's done to help workers".

Talks between the United States (US) and Canada about amending the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have ended for the week without an agreement.

Trump said he wanted the remarks to remain off-the-record; otherwise, the president said, "it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal".

The negotiation tactics of the Trump administration is "a classic power play", says Evenett.

Under NAFTA's withdrawal rules, Trump must give six months' notice to the leaders of Canada and Mexico, the other stakeholders in the current pact, to pull out the U.S. He also must seek the support of Congress to pass such a change.

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Trade tensions between the United States and Canada increased after the Toronto Star newspaper quoted Trump as saying he would sign a deal only if it was "totally on our terms".

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, the lead negotiator, said they would keep working for a deal that benefits Canadians, Americans and Mexicans. But many manufacturers responded to the agreement by moving factories south of the border to take advantage of low Mexican wages, then shipping goods north to the United States and Canada.

Driving that optimism was agreement on auto content that would favour Canada and the United States due to their higher-wage workers, making it less appealing for manufacturers to move production to Mexico.

"We have also been negotiating with Canada throughout this year-long process". "At the same time, we are concerned that excluding Canada from a final agreement will limit our export opportunities and hurt the USA economy". "If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", Trump said on Twitter.

The U.S. and Mexico came to an agreement on a new pact last week, a deal which excluded America's northern neighbor. Ottawa does have other complaints.

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On Twitter, the president threatened to "terminate NAFTA entirely" if Congress balks at ratifying a revamped NAFTA that could go forward without Canada's involvement if ongoing negotiations fail.

But the talks with Canada snagged over the mechanisms used to resolve disputes among partners, and on Ottawa's strictly controlled dairy sector.

On Friday, Trump informed Congress of his intention to sign a bilateral trade deal with Mexico, but it could be hard to win approval from Congress unless Canada is also included, with support from Democrats needed to pass a purely bilateral deal.

"I also strongly urge Canada to step up and demonstrate that it can take on the ambitious obligations of the agreement with the aim of concluding a modern, seamless three-way agreement", he said.

Since March, for example, Trump's team has applied new tariffs of up to 25 percent on almost $85 billion worth of steel and aluminum on the grounds that these imports pose a threat to America's national security. Between 8 and 10 percent of Kansas agriculture exports are sold to Canada, including meat from the state's packing plants, flour and soybean products.

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These tariffs are the administration's response to its charges that Beijing uses predatory tactics to try to supplant USA technological supremacy.