Late Friday, the US President Donald Trump launched a fresh threat against Canada, while Ottawa remains on hold regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations. The country awaits the conclusion of private talks between the United States and Mexico.
Referring to the NAFTA’s renegotiation, Trump in a tweet said that the “deal with Mexico is coming along nicely,” and that “Canada must wait.”
Later, he sent a warning to Ottawa and wrote, “Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we can’t make a deal!”
After a break in late May before the July presidential election of Mexico, the mutual NAFTA negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico have been building momentum in recent weeks. As per the reports, the one-on-one talks between the two are likely to extend into next week.
However, Canada is yet to arrive to the NAFTA table this summer. The country has been absent from the recent high-level negotiations in the three-country trade deal, regarding which observers have been raising concerns. Some have even warned that Canada might have to settle in with a deal reached between Mexico and the US.
While the observers are doubtful, the Canadian officials have claimed that Ottawa has not been outcast during the discussions of Mexico and the US. They argued that during a year-long renegotiation process, there have been lots of two-sided talks between NAFTA partners.
Since Canada and the US adjourned talks in the spring, the relationship between the two has deteriorated further.
In his critical tweet about Canada on Friday, Trump also made a point of praising for president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico.
He tweeted, “New President of Mexico has been an absolute gentleman,” and also that farmers and autoworkers “must be taken care of or there will be no deal.”
One of the Canadian source said, “We continue to be in the same position where Mexico and the US need to continue to work out their issues.
The next obvious question is, do we have a firm date of Canada physically going to join the talks? And the answer is no, as long as the U.S. and Mexico have not resolved their issues, specifically auto.”