United States ratchets up pressure on Canada, Mexico, trade partners

Donald Trump

To honor the federal holiday celebrating the American labor movement, President Trump made a decision to attack an American labor leader.

The president's attack came after Trumka appeared on "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend where he said efforts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement should include Canada.

Trump's bilateral deal with Mexico is "like the renegotiation of the Korean trade agreement", points out Evenett. Trump announced earlier this week that the United States and Mexico had reached a tentative trade agreement, and added that he would be terminating the existing NAFTA arrangement.

"We were far better off before NAFTA - should never have been signed ..."

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. But the limits of Trump's leverage were also becoming clear with the president still needing to get any agreement through a Congress that has concerns about any pact that does not include Canada. The U.S. has tremendous upside potential as we go about fixing some of the worst Trade Deals ever made by any country in the world.

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", Trump wrote - ignoring the fact that the remarks were reported via an anonymous source by the Star, unencumbered by any such restrictions. Trumka, whose organization is an umbrella group for most unions, said the economies of the United States, Canada and Mexico are "integrated" and "it's pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal". But both the US and Canada are facing their own pressures.


Just prior to Freeland's news conference, the USTR confirmed Trump had notified Congress that he intends to sign a trade agreement in 90 days with Mexico - and Canada, if Ottawa decides to join in.

"There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal".

Trump previously set a deadline for Friday to reach the trilateral deal. Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto wanted to sign a deal before he left office December 1.

In addition to pushing the anti-worker Republican tax law which passed last year over the objections of 55 percent of Americans, Trump has presided over an economy in which real wages have fallen in the last year while repeatedly insisting that exactly the opposite is happening. "At the same time, we are concerned that excluding Canada from a final agreement will limit our export opportunities and hurt the USA economy". Ottawa does have other complaints.

And as they prepare to resume negotiations Wednesday, they say they are optimistic.

"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. And it's considering slapping tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports after a public comment period ends Thursday.

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