Published: Tue, September 04, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Pres. Trump Asserts 'No Political Necessity' To Keep Canada In New NAFTA

Pres. Trump Asserts 'No Political Necessity' To Keep Canada In New NAFTA

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a bill signing event at Harris Conference Center August 31, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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.

He added: "Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off".

"Today the president notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico - and Canada, if it is willing - 90 days from now", Lighthizer said in a statement Friday.

If they can't strike an agreement that is good to the U.S. Canada, however, maintained that it would sign a deal that is good for its people.

The negotiations to rewrite it dragged on for a year and Canada stayed on the sidelines this summer while the US and Mexico executed the hard bargaining.

Talks on a new trade deal began a year ago, but got bogged down over USA demands, including some meant to return manufacturing to the United States. The deal would then not be a reworked version of NAFTA, but a bilateral U.S. -Mexico trade deal.

Speaking on Fox News on Friday, Trumka acknowledged the initial agreement included some improvements over the status quo but also argued "it's pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal". In addition, the union leader criticized the president over an Obama-era rule mandating additional overtime pay and for failing to pass legislation to improve US infrastructure, among other issues.

"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 over the weekend. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs.

Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wanted to sign a deal before he left office December 1.

Trumka added that some details of the Mexico plan are positive for workers, including increasing the amount of an automobile's value that must be made in North America from 62.5 percent to 75 percent, but added the organization is pushing for the ability to monitor and enforce the terms of the deal under any future presidential administration. Ottawa does have other complaints. American and Canadian negotiators will return to negotiations on Wednesday.

The move came after Trumka said in a TV appearance that a renegotiated trade deal to replace NAFTA should include Canada - the nation's largest trading partner and the source of many auto manufacturing jobs for US firms.

But the talks with Canada snagged over the mechanisms used to resolve disputes among partners, and on Ottawa's strictly controlled dairy sector. Lander also believes Trump would need Congressional approval to withdraw from NAFTA "Because NAFTA was enacted through an act of Congress, Congress has to undo it", he said in a phone interview.

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.

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