Donald Trump has reignited his focus on the United States’ trade negotiations with Canada with new incendiary comments over Canadian trade practices and a proposal to implement a new international trade tax.
“We lose a lot of money with Canada. Canada does not treat us right in terms of the farming and the crossing the borders,” said the US President at a White House event yesterday.
“So they’ll either treat us right or we’ll just have to do business a little bit diff… really differently. We cannot continue to be taken advantage of by other countries.”
But it is unclear what exactly he was referring to, although he did state more details will be released about the new tax on Canadian trade, possibly later this week.
This comes after Trump’s complaints last year over Canada’s dairy farmers, and his threats on a withdrawal from NAFTA if the United States is unable to acquire favourable reciprocal trade policies.
“Hopefully the renegotiation will be successful. And if it’s not, we’ll be more successful,” he continued.
However, on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended Canada’s trade practices, and rebuked Trump’s long-held assertions that the US ‘loses out’ on Canadian trade.
“The sum of our trade, including both goods and services, is essentially balanced. In fact, in 2016, the U.S. enjoyed a trade surplus with Canada of close to $8 billion (U.S.). In manufactured goods, your surplus was nearly $36 billion,” Trudeau said in a speech Friday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.
“Those are American numbers, by the way, from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in the Department of Commerce.”
Furthermore, according to the federal government, about nine million American jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada, and Canada is the top export destination for 35 states.
The seventh round of NAFTA negotiations will occur in Mexico at the end of this month.