After reaching an agreement with Mexico on Monday, President Donald Trump has now focused on striking a trade deal with Canada.
“You go to Wisconsin, you go to Iowa, you go to upstate New York and different places where you have very big farm communities. They’ve been treated very, I would say, in a rough manner by Canada. So, hopefully, that will end,” President Trump said in an interview.
The new U.S.-Mexico trade deal will change parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, which President Trump maintained had “a bad connotation.”
“They used to call it NAFTA. We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico trade agreement,” Trump said from the Oval Office on Monday, adding, “We’re going to get rid of NAFTA because it has a bad connotation.”
During Tuesday’s interview, the President also said that opening up markets would be beneficial for farmers and vowed to “get rid of barriers.”
“For one thing, we’re going to get rid of barriers and we’re going to open up markets, and it’s going to be great for farmers. And farmers were really at the top of my list because I think they’ve been treated very unfairly for many years — including by NAFTA — but very unfairly for many years, because they have barriers,” Trump noted.
He further claimed Canada has been in conversations about joining the new agreement, but added that at the moment they are “not letting anyone else in the deal because of the fact we want to make sure our farmers are properly taken care of.”
President Trump also commented during the interview that the U.S. has warned Canada, which it accuses of being “rough” on American farmers, of possible tariffs should the northern neighbor continue to maintain its “barriers.”
“We just said look, if you don’t do something about these barriers that you have and these tremendous tariffs that you have for our farmers and others, then we’re not going to be making a deal, we’re just going to tariff you coming back in,” Trump remarked.
The Mexican president also expressed hopes that Canada will be part of the deal as well.
Meanwhile, CNBC wrote that the former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman said on Tuesday a fair deal with Canada was possible only if Trump gave up his “dictate mode.”
If the White House is “in the dictate mode and they force the Prime Minister [Justin Trudeau] into a deal that’s a bad deal for Canada, he won’t do it,” Heyman said.