NAFTA challenge: Restore momentum after Trump’s latest ‘bullying’

NAFTA challenge: Restore momentum after Trump's latest 'bullying'
NAFTA challenge: Restore momentum after Trump's latest 'bullying'

The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement hit a rough phase on Friday morning after Trump’s “off the record” comments about how the U.S. would not make any compromises and that any deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.

On Friday, Trump repeated in public his threat to slap oppressive car tariffs on Canadian imports if Canada will not concede.

Donald Trump’s team played the song You Can’t Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones, as he left the stage after an event in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday.

“I’ve never seen in my experience this kind of bullying, just abject bullying,” said Jennifer Hillman, a former international trade adjudicator and general counsel in the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. “I don’t believe the majority of Americans support this.”

Worse for Trump’s supporters, it isn’t delivering. “This is a lot of talk of getting good deals, but we haven’t seen any,” she said.

Before Friday morning, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland had been emphasizing the “goodwill” that was evident throughout several “intense” sessions with American negotiators. Then Canadians had to acknowledge Trump’s unhelpful comments at the table. Freeland shifted back to firm talking points about only signing a deal that was good for Canada. Negotiations paused for the weekend.