Trump threatens Canada again with auto tariffs if NAFTA fails

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2018

Auto industry officials familiar with the talks said the Trump administration wants the ability to impose national security tariffs on future Mexican production from new auto assembly and parts plants. "Their Tariffs and Trade Barriers are far too high".

Bloomberg reports that Trump's harsh words came in a tweet late Friday, which also praised Mexico's president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as being an "absolute gentleman".

United States and Mexican officials will continue to work on bilateral issues before their Canadian counterparts rejoin the discussions on modernizing the 24-year-old trade deal, Guajardo said Friday. Obrador, Mexico's first left-wing president in recent times, won't take office until December 1, and he's believed to be keen for the transitional government to clinch a deal with the U.S. before then so his party can maintain some distance from a revamped agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a fresh warning that he would slap auto tariffs on Canada if NAFTA talks fail. "Autoworkers and farmers must be taken care of or there will be no deal", the tweet said.

At the same time, relations with Canada have been tense since June's G7 meeting in Quebec, when President Trump renounced support for the Summit's communique and took direct aim at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for promising to stand up to United States tariffs.

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Ultimately it is in Canada's best interest to align with the U, they will. After all, auto tariffs could plunge Canada into a recession and put Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a vulnerable position ahead of 2019 elections.

Earlier Friday, a source familiar with Ottawa's NAFTA effort said Canadian negotiators would not be returning to the bargaining table in Washington until the US and Mexico find common ground on their outstanding issues, especially the complex sticking points around the auto sector.

Once Canada returns to the talks, the continental partners are expected to shift their focus to other tough, unresolved issues.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canada's foreign minister, added: "We're glad Mexico and the USA continue to work out their bilateral issues".

"US demands for a (five-year) sunset clause, and changes to dispute resolution mechanisms appear to be the next items on the agenda".

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