Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday August 28, 2018
Trump tries to put squeeze on Canada as U.S. and Mexico make NAFTA breakthrough
The U.S. and Mexico have come to a preliminary agreement on new North American rules for automotive manufacturing and for other industries — and President Donald Trump is using it to threaten Canada, using a novel tactic to try to pressure Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into a final deal.
The U.S.-Mexico deal, announced Monday, had widely been described as a preliminary, informal sub-agreement that would be folded into the broader North American Free Trade Agreement talks.
But the Trump administration, seeking to push Canada into concessions, is describing it as a separate trade agreement, a “United States-Mexico Trade Agreement,” that Canada can either choose to join or not.
Speaking in the Oval Office, Trump said he would “get rid of the name NAFTA,” which he said has a “bad connotation.”
Trump again threatened Canada with auto tariffs.
“Canada will start negotiations shortly. I’ll be calling the prime minister very soon. And we’ll start negotiation, and if they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that.
“You know, they have tariffs of almost 300 per cent on some of our dairy products, and we can’t have that. We’re not going to stand for that.
“I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest thing we can do is to tariff their cars coming in,” Trump said.
“It’s a tremendous amount of money and it’s a very simple negotiation. It could end in one day and we take in a lot of money the following day. But I think we’ll give them a chance to probably have a separate deal. We can have a separate deal or we can put it into this deal.”
On its website, Trump’s administration described the deal with Mexico as a “preliminary agreement in principle.” (Source: Toronto Star)