Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Trump threatens Congress - Stay out of my plans for NAFTA

Trump threatens Congress - Stay out of my plans for NAFTA

The president warned Congress not to meddle with the trade negotiations or he would terminate the trilateral trade pact altogether.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to criticize Canada's trade history with the U.S.

'If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decade of abuse, Canada will be out.

Trump is attempting to get a new NAFTA deal signed before current President Enrique Peña Nieto leaves office December 1.

According to a published account of the president's leaked remarks, Trump told Bloomberg News Thursday that he is not entertaining any compromises at all in discussions with Canada - but he can not admit his posture publicly because "it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal".

The negotiations had taken an odd turn for the worse Friday over news that President Donald Trump had told Bloomberg News that he wasn't willing to make any concessions to Canada.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he expected to rejoin his U.S. and Canadian counterparts for trilateral talks.

"If the Canadian market is opened up, I would anticipate a very long transition period, so whatever benefits might accrue would be quite far down the line", she said, pointing to slow uptake by business of provisions included in the Canada-EU trade agreement known as CETA. Among others, they require Canada to dismantle its dairy board, which manages the supply of dairy and poultry products, particularly in the Quebec region, remove "cultural protection" for Canada's print and broadcasting sectors, the scrapping of the dispute settlement mechanism for resolving trade and investment disputes in the revamped North America Free Trade Agreement, and stringent norms for patent protection for biologics and other new medicines. For various political reasons on both sides of the Rio Grande, it was critical that the trade deal be officially presented to Congress by end of the week, so getting Canada on-board became an immediate priority.

The president also called the current trade agreement 'one of the worst deals ever made, ' and also threatened to axe the deal if Congress interferes with trade negotiations.

The jab came a day after controversial remarks to Bloomberg he claims had been "off the record" leaked to the Canadian press as the two countries sought to negotiate a North American Free Trade Agreement deal. The only problem was that the announced deal was between only the US and Mexico.

"Our officials are continuing to work towards an agreement".

A few weeks ago, the United States began negotiating with Mexico, leaving Canada on the sidelines.

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. As we said from the outset, our objective in these talks is to update and modernize NAFTA in a way that is good for Canadians, good for Americans and good for Mexicans.

Pelc said that Republican members of Congress as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are "dead set" against a bilateral deal with Mexico. Mexico swiftly retaliated with import tariffs on some American goods, including steel, apples and pork.

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