President Donald Trump has reached a tentative trade deal with Mexico, and now the focus of tariff talks shifts to Canada. He also warned Congress not to interfere in the talks, which are set to continue on Monday.
"There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new Nafta deal", Trump said in one of a series of tweets as he visited his Virginia golf club while three former presidents and a range of political dignitaries attended a Washington memorial for the late Senator John McCain. "We are concerned that excluding Canada from a final agreement will limit our export opportunities and hurt the USA economy", said Gary Shapiro, the head of the Consumer Technology Association, in a statement.
The US and Mexico reached a deal earlier in the week, putting pressure on Ottawa to follow suit, but talks over dairy quotas were one of the key issues holding up a deal.
Trump then admitted to "scaring the Canadians into submission by repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs".
Any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms", the Toronto Star quoted Trump as saying in an off-the-record aside during an interview with Bloomberg News. It will hold another round of talks on Wednesday that would suggest whether Canada will agree to the US' demands, said an analyst in Geneva, who asked not to be quoted.
While U.S. officials have indicated that they are prepared to go ahead and sign a NAFTA deal only with Mexico, the U.S. business community and many lawmakers have insisted that the NAFTA deal should remain a trilateral pact.
Canadian officials accused the USA side of refusing to offer concessions.
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Even when Wallace framed the question as a choice to derail things like NAFTA renegotiation or trade deals, Trumka still said that it "probably will be Democrats" that the unions support in November.
Congress members from both parties as well as US business leaders also want Canada included to preserve the more than $1 trillion in trade under the 24-year-old trilateral deal. 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.
On Friday, Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement stressing that a revised NAFTA must include all three countries. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. That letter started a 90-day required notice period for Congress before the president can legally sign a new deal. US and Canadian negotiators worked throughout the week on adding Canada to Friday's notice, but the negotiations failed to produce an agreement ahead of Trump's own Friday deadline.
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.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the dispute between US and Canada hinges on agricultural and media protection policies, as well as the installation of a system that would allow any of the three countries in the agreement to challenge tariffs imposed by one of the others.
A short time later, he added: "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before". "So workers really aren't doing that well".