US President Donald Trump really dislikes NAFTA.
Trump has publicly wanted to terminate NAFTA for years now and has called the international trade agreement “a disaster.” Since his inauguration, Trump has made several calls with Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Peña Nieto to discuss the issue.
In April, according to a release from the White House, the three leaders agreed to a renegotiation rather than a termination at this time.
And now, leaked calls between Trump and Nieto show that the US President doesn’t seem to care about Canada’s role in the agreement. In the January 27 call, leaked by the Washington Post, Nieto insists on finding a balance when it comes to NAFTA.
“I would insist very specifically, Mr. President, for us to find a route towards the dialogue to find a balance in our trade,” said Nieto. “I think we can continue working towards building the construction of a new framework to continue our trade relationship among the three countries that are part of NAFTA.”
With Canada being the third country in the agreement, Trump seems to brush off our role as a nation.
“Well, Canada is no problem – do not worry about Canada, do not even think about them,” he responds. “That is a separate thing and they are fine and we have had a very fair relationship with Canada. It has been much more balanced and much more fair. So we do not have to worry about Canada, we do not even think about them.”
In May, the Trump administration officially requested the 90-day consultation period to renegotiate NAFTA, this after the President took to his favourite social media tool, Twitter, to launch an attack on US-Canada trade relations.
Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
As for the leaked discussion, Trump talks to the Mexican president about the infamous Mexican wall which he promised to build during his presidency campaign.
“You cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall. I am just going to say that we are working it out,” said Trump.
But Nieto says that Mexico will continue to be firm, saying they will not pay for the wall.
“You cannot say that to the press,” said Trump. “The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
It’s okay, Trump. He didn’t have to say anything, and now we know.