Trump says NAFTA deal with Canada...

The Miracle - - Front Page -

After his first face-to-face meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau on Mon­day, U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he only plans to “tweak” the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment with Canada, while his ad­min­is­tra­tion has a lot more work to do with Mex­ico. Trump’s com­ments at a joint news con­fer­ence are likely to pro­vide some re­lief to Canada’s busi­ness lead­ers, who have been anx­ious about the pres­i­dent’s re­peated prom­ises to ei­ther rene­go­ti­ate NAFTA or scrap it al­to­gether. In ad­dress­ing re­porters at the White House, both Trump and Trudeau praised the strong re­la­tion­ship be­tween Canada and the United States, and said they will con­tinue to build on cur­rent cross-bor­der trade and se­cu­rity agree­ments. “We have a very out­stand­ing trade re­la­tion­ship with Canada. We’ll be tweak­ing it, we’ll be do­ing cer­tain things that are go­ing to ben­e­fit both of our coun­tries,” Trump said when asked about NAFTA. “It’s a much less se­vere sit­u­a­tion than what’s taken place on the south­ern bor­der,” he said, adding that trade trans­ac­tions with Mex­ico have been “ex­tremely un­fair” to the United States over the years. “We’re go­ing to work with Mex­ico, we’re go­ing to make it a fair deal for both par­ties,” Trump said. The pres­i­dent said his ad­min­is­tra­tion is aim­ing for “eas­ier, faster trade” with Amer­ica’s north­ern neigh­bour. “We are go­ing to have a great re­la­tion­ship with Canada, maybe as good or bet­ter, hope­fully, than ever be­fore.” Trudeau said that the U.S. and Canada are “fun­da­men­tally linked” as neigh­bours in a unique re­la­tion­ship. “We fought in con­flict zones to­gether, ne­go­ti­ated en­vi­ron­men­tal treaties to­gether ... and we’ve en­tered into ground-break­ing eco­nomic part­ner­ships that have cre­ated good jobs for both of our peo­ples,” he said. In a joint state­ment is­sued be­fore the news con­fer­ence, the two lead­ers said they will work on their coun­tries’ com­mon in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing labour mo­bil­ity, en­ergy, and bor­der se­cu­rity. The state­ment also specif­i­cally men­tions es­tab­lish­ing a pre­clear­ance sys­tem for cargo cross­ing the bor­der, as well as the ex­pan­sion of cur­rent pre­clear­ance pro­ce­dures for Cana­dian and Amer­i­can trav­ellers. Asked whether he thinks that Amer­ica’s north­ern bor­der is se­cure, Trump replied: “You can never be to­tally con­fi­dent.” He said he’ll con­tinue to dis­cuss se­cu­rity and im­mi­gra­tion with Trudeau, and that his ad­min­is­tra­tion has “strong, tough” ideas on how to com­bat ter­ror­ism. For his part, Trudeau said Canada will pur­sue “poli­cies of open­ness to­wards im­mi­gra­tion and refugees with­out com­pro­mis­ing se­cu­rity.” He also noted that Canada has ac­cepted close to 40,000 Syr­ian refugees. “The last things Cana­di­ans ex­pect is for me to come down and lec­ture an­other coun­try on how they choose to gov­ern them­selves,” Trudeau said, adding that his re­spon­si­bil­ity is to reflect Cana­dian val­ues and “be a pos­i­tive ex­am­ple in the world.” Be­fore Mon­day af­ter­noon’s news con­fer­ence, Trudeau and Trump met pri­vately in the White House, and also at­tended a round­table dis­cus­sion with fe­male ex­ec­u­tives, pledg­ing their com­mit­ments to en­sur­ing work­place equal­ity and ad­vance­ments for women. A num­ber of se­nior mem­bers of Trudeau’s gov­ern­ment ac­com­pa­nied him to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., in­clud­ing For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land, De­fence Min­is­ter Har­jit Sa­j­jan, Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau. In an in­ter­view with CTV’s Power Play Mon­day, Free­land said Trump’s com­ments on trade and NAFTA were very sig­nif­i­cant. “The most im­por­tant mes­sage from to­day’s meet­ing was a real reaf­fir­ma­tion from our Amer­i­can part­ners that they re­ally un­der­stand the ex­tent to which we have a bal­anced, mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial trade re­la­tion­ship,” she said. Maryscott Green­wood, an ex­pert in Canada-U.S. re­la­tions, said the TrumpTrudeau meet­ing was an over­all suc­cess. “So far so good,” she told Power Play. “There’s plenty of time for this to go off the rails but as of to­day, their joint state­ment was quite good.” Green­wood said it was “in­cred­i­bly smart” for Trudeau to also meet with Paul Ryan, the speaker of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and Mitch McCon­nell, U.S. Sen­ate ma­jor­ity leader. “Rec­og­niz­ing that Capi­tol Hill has as much power as the White House is a very savvy po­lit­i­cal move,” she said. In­terim Con­ser­va­tive leader Rona Am­brose said she was not sur­prised by Trump’s com­ments on NAFTA and the Canada-U.S. trade re­la­tion­ship. She told re­porters in Ot­tawa that, from her own meet­ings with con­gres­sional lead­ers in Wash­ing­ton, she un­der­stood that the U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion re­gards the re­la­tion­ship with Canada in a very pos­i­tive light. Am­brose said the Con­ser­va­tives will “play a con­struc­tive role in help­ing any kind of rene­go­ti­a­tion of NAFTA. “Th­ese are Cana­dian jobs that Lib­er­als, Con­ser­va­tives are go­ing to fight for.” How­ever, Am­brose said any kind of “tweak­ing” of NAFTA will likely tar­get sup­ply-man­age­ment agree­ments and could hurt Canada’s meat, dairy and agri­cul­tural sec­tors. She also called on Trudeau to fo­cus on his do­mes­tic poli­cies, and re­con­sider his gov­ern­ment’s cor­po­rate and car­bon tax plans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.