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04 September 2018, 12:43 | Vera Richards
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The president responded the next day, Labor Day, on Twitter.
The commander-in-chief was referencing the union boss' appearance on "Fox News Sunday," where Trumka said the new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should include Canada. "If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", Trump said on Twitter.
The rift comes after the administration submitted a letter late last week formally notifying Congress that it would enter a trade agreement with Mexico, adding that Canada could be included at a later date "if it is willing".
"We've been told for over 25 years, trust us, this agreement will be good for workers. If we don't make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", Trump tweeted on Saturday, a day after the trade negotiations with Canada were upended by leaked off-the-record remarks he made to Bloomberg. "The government of Canada will not sign an agreement unless it is good for Canada and good for Canadians".
He said the United States would have to give six months notice to both Canada and Mexico if it intends to withdraw.
Talks on a new trade deal began a year ago, but got bogged down over US demands, including some meant to return manufacturing to the United States. "There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal, if we don't to make a fair deal for the United States after decades of abuse".
Indeed, whenever Trump's name came up, she showered her opposite number - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - with praise, suggesting the two of them are engaged in a joint effort to overcome their mutual impasse, regardless of what the White House might think.
Canada does not have much of an objection to the auto provisions of the US-Mexican deal, which would benefit Canadian workers too.
But he cautioned that the issues that appear to be sticking points in Canada-U.S. discussions - Canada's supply management system, dispute settlement and cultural protections - aren't likely to find many defenders south of the border.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that Canada will be left out of the new NAFTA agreement if a fair deal can't be reached, stating there was "no political necessity" for its inclusion.
The administration had constructive talks with Canada this week and is still hopeful the nation will join the deal with the US and Mexico, a senior administration official told reporters Friday.
Trump has charged that the deal wiped out American factory jobs. Outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto wanted to sign a deal before he left office December 1.
Congress members from both parties as well as US business leaders also want Canada included to preserve the more than $1 trillion in trade under the 24-year-old trilateral deal. American and Canadian negotiators will return to negotiations on Wednesday. Ottawa does have other complaints. He also said he does not believe a revised pact will work without Canada being involved.
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