President Donald Trump on Saturday took aim at unfair trade practices in a series of tweets after the U.S. and Canada failed to reach Friday’s deadline to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The president began his tough trade talk by declaring there is “political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal,” adding if the U.S. and Canada do not reach a “fair deal,” following “decades of abuse,” then its northern neighbor will find itself “out,” of the agreement.
The president then threatened he would “terminate NAFTA entirely,” if Congress interferes in trade negotiations between the two countries, adding the U.S. would be “far better off,” with the agreement scrapped entirely.
“Remember, NAFTA was one of the WORST Trade Deals ever made. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs,” President Trump wrote. “We were far better off before NAFTA – should never have been signed. Even the Vat Tax was not accounted for. We make new deal or go back to pre-NAFTA!”
Hours later, President Trump tweeted an article written by Breitbart News Economics and Finance Editor John Carney about the missed deadline and what’s next for the negotiations.
In the article, Carney wrote that while U.S. and Canadian officials signaled talks were headed in a “very positive,” direction, a leaked off-the- record comment by President Trump to Bloomberg about the U.S. not making concessions roiled talks Friday.
Further, Carney noted that failure to reach an agreement could have real consequences for Canada. “Canada has a lot at stake in the fate of the North American Trade Agreement. A complete revocation of Nafta would cause a 2.2 percent decline in Canada’s GDP, according to an analysis published last week by the Bank for International Settlements,” Carney wrote. “Mexico’s GDP would fall by 1.8 percent, the BIS said. The U.S. economy, however, would suffer just a 0.22 percent decline.”
The president followed up his tweet citing Carney’s report with his 2016 presidential campaign slogan in all capital letters: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
“We shouldn’t have to buy our friends with bad Trade Deals and Free Military Protection!” the president wrote moments later.
The U.S. and Canada on Friday afternoon announced trade talks would resume Wednesday in Washington, D.C. “We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach,”Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters after talks concluded. “The government of Canada will not sign an agreement unless it is good for Canadians.”
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday released a statement announcing President Trump “notified the Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico – and Canada, if it is willing – 90 days from now.”