Trump says "no political necessity" to keep Canada in new NAFTA deal

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will meet again with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, had on Sunday disputed the White House's strategy for renegotiating the NAFTA trade pact and argued that Trump had "done more to hurt workers than to help" them since taking office.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard was more blunt, telling reporters that Trump is not a friend to Canada.

Canada is the No. 1 destination for American products shipped overseas, and more than 8 million U.S.jobs are supported by trade with Canada, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Sanders told those gathered for an AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast in New Hampshire that Trump is trying to divide Americans for "cheap political reasons", Politico reported. "My negotiating counterparty is Ambassador Lighthizer", she said.

That comment repeated a threat from the president earlier in the week to forge ahead with a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico that would leave out Canada, which he on Friday again accused of "ripping us off". The top Canadian trade envoy, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, then hurried to Washington for talks aimed at preserving Canada's membership in the regional trade agreement. Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wanted to sign a deal before he left office December 1.

"The updated NAFTA agreement, especially the US-Mexican deal will be supported by business for nearly the relief it gives because the uncertainty was killing investment plans", according to Simon Evenett from St Gallen University in Switzerland.

He said the United States would have to give six months notice to both Canada and Mexico if it intends to withdraw.

But he cautioned that the issues that appear to be sticking points in Canada-U.S. discussions - Canada's supply management system, dispute settlement and cultural protections - aren't likely to find many defenders south of the border.




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

And, in spite of Trump's big talk, he "hasn't come up with an infrastructure program that could put a lot of us back to work", Trumka said.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders urged New Hampshire workers to embrace the labor movement's principle of solidarity in response to what he called the "divisive" politics of President Donald Trump. Ottawa does have other complaints.

Trilateral trade between the NAFTA countries has exceeded one trillion dollars annually in recent years, according to a 2017 report by the US Congressional Research Service. The Canadian government found it hard to agree to the US' demands once they were reported in domestic media. Also, Congress must approve any rewrite of NAFTA, signed under President Bill Clinton, and might refuse to endorse a deal that leaves longtime ally Canada on the sidelines.

A spokesperson said Trudeau also spoke with Jerry Dias, the president of the Unifor union which represents autoworkers, and Hassan Yussuff, the president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

In June this year, Washington introduced a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the EU.

The president's treatment of Canada through this process is the "definition of insanity", Bruce Heyman, the former USA ambassador to Canada, told CNBC's Squawk on the Street on Sunday.

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