On Labor Day, Trump takes aim at AFL-CIO union chief

Geneva Stokes
September 3, 2018

Talks between Canada and the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement soured sharply on Friday after President Donald Trump reportedly said a pact would be on us terms and Ottawa stood firm against signing "just any deal".

USA 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. However, Canada and the US did not meet the negotiating deadline, and talks are to continue this week. "The government of Canada will not sign an agreement unless it is good for Canada and good for Canadians".

"The negotiations between the United States and Canada are ongoing".

"I have now been working with Ambassador Lighthizer and his team for more than a year".

Replacing NAFTA is a top priority for Mr. Trump, who calls the landmark trade agreement "the worst deal ever made". The longstanding trilateral deal was roundly criticized by the protectionist right, as well as the anti-globalization left, particularly for the damage that eliminating tariffs did to the American auto industry.

"We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach", Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters after a week of talks to rewrite the 25-year-old Nafta.

Canadian officials accused the USA side of refusing to offer concessions.

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One person attempted to remind Trump that many corporations that have benefited from his massive tax cuts haven't used the money to create more jobs.

Mike Huckabee took issue on Labor Day with AFL/CIO President Richard Trumka over his comments about the economy and American workers, saying there is no way he could say matters are not good. "Canada, of course, will only sign a deal which is good for Canada". "If you break off one member of this agreement, you break it all, and that would be bad news for US businesses, for American jobs, and for economic growth", Donohue said.

"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.

The next day, he added: "There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", he tweeted. Is it that Trump was secretly (or not so secretly) plotting to kill the trade deal with Canada in the first place?

The president of the largest union federation in the United States said Sunday that a reworked North American Free Trade Agreement would require Canada's involvement. Another key issue is US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, though it's unclear whether relief from those will be included.

The sticking points between Ottawa and Washington centre on Canada's managed dairy market - something Mr Trump has criticised frequently - and how to handle some disputes among NAFTA partners, as well as patent protections for medicines.

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