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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Toronto Star: Trump says NO to compromises with Canada Reply with quote

Bombshell leak to Toronto Star upends NAFTA talks: In secret ‘so insulting’ remarks, Trump says he isn’t compromising at all with Canada
By DANIEL DALEWashington Bureau Chief
Fri., Aug. 31, 2018

WASHINGTON—High-stakes trade negotiations between Canada and the U.S. were dramatically upended on Friday morning by inflammatory secret remarks from President Donald Trump, after the remarks were obtained by the Toronto Star.

In remarks Trump wanted to be “off the record,” Trump told Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday, according to a source, that he is not making any compromises at all in the talks with Canada — but that he cannot say this publicly because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”

In a remark he did not want published, U.S. President Donald Trump said that a possible NAFTA deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms,” according to a source.

“Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. If I say no, then you’re going to put that, and it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal ... I can’t kill these people,” he said of the Canadian government.

In another remark he did not want published, Trump said, according to the source, that the possible deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” He suggested he was scaring the Canadians into submission by repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs.

“Off the record, Canada’s working their ass off. And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala,” Trump said, according to the source. The Impala is produced at the General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ontario.

TOP STORIES. IN YOUR INBOX: For the week’s top stories in politics from the Star’s award-winning journalists, sign up for our ‘This week in politics’ newsletter.

Trump made the remarks in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg. He deemed them off the record, and Bloomberg accepted his request not to reveal them.

But the Star is not bound by any promises Bloomberg made to Trump. And the remarks immediately became a factor in the negotiations: Trudeau’s officials, who saw them as evidence for their previous suspicions that Trump’s team had not been bargaining in good faith, raised them at the beginning of a meeting with their U.S. counterparts on Friday morning, a U.S. source confirmed.

The Star was not able to independently confirm the remarks with 100 per cent certainty, but the Canadian government is confident they are accurate.

Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, who was one of the journalists in the room, did not dispute their authenticity. Nor did the White House.

My reading is that Trump is giving the Trudeau team the back of his hand because he wants to make sure the Canadian public knows that this is a humiliating defeat.

He is essentially refusing to cooperate because Freeland and Trudeau have been such assholes. They actually campaigned on the other side of Trump's issues in Washington DC. Bad diplomatic behaviour in anybody's books.

Except that it's an unsourced leak. It could be Freeland's people that leaked it in an attempt to shift blame, and maybe try and get the "bully narrative" going.

But, in the event that Freeland and Trudeau are too arrogant to accept the deal, no compromises, the implicit threat is that Trump will go after the whole of the Canadian auto industry, draining it back to the USA.

Canada and Mexico will change positions as we slowly devolve to a folkloric tourist destination with Charles as a monarch -- and Mexico become a 21st century growth centre.

Watch the Liberals, with their allies in the media, try and pretend that the results of this are a good thing, either way. Watch them claim that they stood up and refused to be pushed around. So childish.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update ... perhaps the leak has forced Trump to moderate a tad. Perhaps TC has a point.

Trump Notifies Congress He Will Sign Trade Pact With Mexico, Keep Talking To Canada
by Tyler Durden
Sat, 09/01/2018 - 09:48

With trade talks between the U.S. and Canada ending on Friday with no deal to revamp NAFTA after "insulting" Trump comments from his Bloomberg interview were leaked by the Canadian press, the US president notified Congress of his intent to sign a bilateral trade pact with Mexico in one month, while agreeing to keep talking to Canada.

The move by Trump to notify Congress that he planned to sign a deal with Mexico in 90 days and would include Canada "if it is willing" avoided what many in the U.S. business community and Congress had seen as a worst-case scenario, according to Bloomberg.

The president threatened earlier this week to go ahead with a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico that would leave out Canada, which he on Friday again accused of “ripping us off.”

Sending the notification to Congress effectively sets a new clock for the Nafta negotiations. Under rules set by Congress, the administration is now facing a 30-day deadline to provide a full text of the agreement.

Following four days of intensive talks in Washington between Canada and the United States during which "progress" was made - but not enough to reach a successful deal - the biggest sticking points remained open: U.S. demands for more access to Canada’s closed dairy market and Canadian insistence that the "Chapter 19" trade dispute settlement system be maintained, not scrapped as Trump wants.

“We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach,” Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian foreign minister, told reporters in Washington after talks wrapped up on Friday. But “Canada will only sign a deal that’s a good deal for Canada, we are very, very clear about that,” she added. She declined to identify the trickiest issues that were holding up a deal.

Initially deal sentiment was optimistic, and markets expected a favorable outcome from the negotiation after a bilateral deal was announced by the US and Mexico on Monday which paved the way for Canada to rejoin the talks this week with a Friday deadline looming. But on Friday sentiment turned, partly on Trump’s explosive off-the-record remarks made to Bloomberg News that any trade deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” He later confirmed the comments, which the Toronto Star first reported.

“At least Canada knows where I stand,” Trump said on Twitter later.

Donald J. Trump

Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!

2:37 PM - Aug 31, 2018
63.6K people are talking about this
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Later on Friday, Trump notified Congress that he intends to sign the trade pact by the end of November. Text of the deal will be published by around Oct. 1.

Congressional approval of a bilateral deal as replacement to the trilateral NAFTA, however, is unlikely.

According to Reuters, U.S. lawmakers and business groups have expressed concern about Canada’s not yet being not yet part of the agreement. "Anything other than a trilateral agreement won’t win Congressional approval and would lose business support,” the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, said in a statement.

There are other potential complications: Trump had been pushing to get a new Nafta approved under a process known as fast-track authority that allows him to seek a simple yes-or-no vote in Congress on trade deals, as long as his administration clears certain procedural hurdles.

Under fast-track rules, Trump must notify Congress 90 days before signing the deal. The White House set a deadline for Friday because it wanted to notify Congress in time for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the accord before his successor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, takes office on Dec. 1.

However, any vote in U.S. Congress is unlikely to take place before 2019. By then, the Democrats may control at least one chamber of Congress, and Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the House of Representatives, made clear on Friday that any deal must include Canada. [....]

In my view, this is now more about saving face tban in gettig the best deal for women and aboriginals, which is how it started out.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The search for someone to blame continues ...

Did Mexico throw Canada under the NAFTA bus?

'There are things we don't control,' Mexico's foreign minister says
Evan Dyer · CBC News · Posted: Sep 01, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 9 hours ago

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto take part in a joint press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
At the end of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's social media video touting the free trade breakthrough between the U.S. and Mexico, he held up three fingers saying what Mexico really wants is a deal "between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, in which we all win."

That gesture echoed his comments Monday via speakerphone with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump clearly wanted to use the moment to isolate Canada. But Pena Nieto didn't, in fact, he kept insisting that it's time to bring Canada into the deal.

Was Mexico's leader living up to his commitment not to make a deal without Canada? Or was he trying to salve his guilty conscience, knowing he's already thrown Canada under the bus?

Perhaps it was a bit of both. [....]

My response: what else would you expect Mexico to do? They had an election in the midst of it. The other side won. The two parties agreed to make a deal before the new guys came into power -- and thus, keep it out of the political debate.

Were they supposed to put that on hold while Canada got serious? Canada wasn't interested in the real discussion -- it was trying to leverage some social justice out of it, and as a result, Canada is at risk of getting screwed.

I don't blame Mexico. The bigger problem is the Canadians were posing, acting like something they aren't. They didn't have a practical list of 'demands' and they didn't have a priority list of what they would defend. They could have gotten off at minimal cost if they'd had the moxie to give Trump a quick victory. But 'moxei' is something they'd have to look up in the dictoionary.

It's almost like Canada sent a Gilbert & Sullivan ensemble into hardball negotiations with the Americans ...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A glaring example ...

Canadians will cut the Liberals slack on NAFTA for negotiating with ‘crazy man’ Trump, say pollsters
By NEIL MOSS SEP. 3, 2018
However, the U.S. negotiator for the original NAFTA says Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland's team has 'disappointed' him, 'stepped back' and let the U.S. and Mexico work out trilateral issues.

The Liberals won’t be punished by voters if they head into next year’s federal election campaign without a finished NAFTA renegotiation, some pollsters say, and Canadians will cut them slack for trying to strike a deal with the unpredictable U.S. President Donald Trump.

But Nanos Research chair Nik Nanos said the Grits would be taking a “massive” political risk by not getting a deal, and potentially running into more U.S. tariffs while campaigning for re-election, and former U.S. trade representative Mickey Kantor said the government wasn’t doing enough to defend Canadian interests.

“They sort of stepped back and let Mexico and the United States negotiate, frankly, on issues that affected them,” said Mr. Kantor, who led the U.S. negotiation of the original NAFTA. [....]

The is the fakest of fake news. The headline -- not many people get more than a paragraph into a story -- is entirely deceptive.

The headline is reporting the most inside-out interpretation of what Nanos is saying imaginable. It's funny. (The rest of the article, by the way, goes on to speculate about the future negotiations, and to say the negotiations are 'unfair'.)

The social world reacts slowly. It is, after all, something of a herd. Much of that herd moves is because the others are moving. One group grazing looks up ... say, they seem to have found something better ... The herd seems to move on its own dynamic.

Unless I can't read very well, Nick Nanos -- who is himself partisan, but professional -- is obviously saying that it is electorally essential (for the Liberals) to keep our trade position with the USA. Otherwise -- regime change.

In a rational political process, there would be people doing everything they can do on the other side. But in our day, all our leadership is in thrall to government-created agricultural cartels. It's absurd. Those cartels now control the government trade policy!

With Bernier, we may be at another of those moments, like the resistance to Meech Lake, in early development. Our political apparatus has been taken over. We have the Liberals, the Conliberals, and the Liberals-in-a-hurry -- at least in trade.

It's because of the dairy cartel. None of the politicians care about the dairy farmers, as 'people, or especially value their contribution to the national product. It's simply that they have been bought, fair-and-square, at least on the trade issue.

That has to stop whatever happens on trade. You can't have government-created entities controlling the government policy as it affects them. We have to be able to dismantle anything government creates, as conditions change.

When I make this point, I don't mean that anybody has done anything illegal. The dairy people are honestly serving their own interest. Andrew Scheer is honestly honouring his obligation to them. The least honest people involved in the mess is the government -- but while negotiations are going on, poses and false presentations are fair play. Who is kidding who -- getting to an agreement when both parties need a deal involves each participant making the other side consciously fear their potential loss. That's why the big decisions can't go forward without the heads of state giving green lights.

So we can't expect them to tell us the straight truth. Figure it out.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The entire weekend spend the news cycle trying to deflect blame from not getting a deal done on Friday.

My concern is how this is being used as political hay by the Government while we play Russian Roulette with access to our greatest trade partners market.

This is an issue that goes beyond Politics, but its not being treated that way.

For most of summer the discussion was about the Sunset Clause which the President apparently was willing to walk away from @ G7 which the Prime Minister isn't confirming or denying:


CBC's Rob Russo also reported that the negotiations on NAFTA were going well at G7 and that a deal appeared close (in June)

It appears the “kind of insulting” comments made my the Prime Minister during his press conference after the President had left didn't exactly help Canada's negotiators.

While "Trump" is an easy target for the Canadian Media and Government to use as justification for why we are in this position in trade negotiations we simply tend to omit the fact that had the Prime Minister simply said something along the lines of "we are looking for the best deal possible for Canada and we will work with both parties to get there" we would likely be in a different place today than we are.

The negotiation with the Americans wasn't going to be easy;
But we certainly made no efforts to make it easier on ourselves.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... "kind of insulting"? We forget the early months of the Trudeau monarchy, when he was flying his in-laws on government jets to Carribean islands owned by the Aga Khan. He appeared extensively in the US making points against Trump's agenda and was a fave with Vanity Fair and The Rolling Stone crowd.

His "kind of insulting" remark wasn't that insulting. Trump has experienced worse. What if the offence was taking up the other side so shortly after saying goodbye to Trump. I think that was the problem -- he had been two-faced to Trump. It probably said to Trump that Trudeau can't be trusted to deliver on a deal.

He characterized Trudeau as "weak and dishonest". Why do we think he didn't mean it?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

His "kind of insulting" remark wasn't that insulting. Trump has experienced worse. What if the offence was taking up the other side so shortly after saying goodbye to Trump. I think that was the problem -- he had been two-faced to Trump. It probably said to Trump that Trudeau can't be trusted to deliver on a deal.

I agree with that.

If a deal was largely reached in principal over the sunset clause and the President conceded a point which Canada considered a roadblock, I can see why there would be some ire raised.

Especially with the press conference being held after the President had left.

The Prime Minister doesn't have the best record when it comes to commenting on pending trade agreements;

Japan and the TPP springs to mind:


While many appear to be providing cover for the Government over the lack of an agreement, it seems that if the G7 situation is correct this mess is largely one of our own creation.
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Toronto Star: Trump says NO to compromises with Canada

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