A new deadlock emerged in Canada-US NAFTA negotiation as Canada demanded the withdrawal of auto tariff threat before making a deal. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said “we discussed some tough issues today,” after meeting USTR Robert Lighthizer yesterday, without giving any details. Freeland also ignored the US imposed deadline of October 1 and insisted on getting a deal that was good for Canadians.
The request to drop auto tariffs threat based on national security is supported within the Canadian business world. Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union said “Why would Canada sign a trade agreement with the United States … and then have Donald Trump impose a 25 percent tariff on automobiles?” He added, “That for us is a deal breaker. It doesn’t make a stitch of sense. … We are a small nation, we’re not a stupid nation.”