Rick Scott avoids questions on Trump's Mexico trade pact

Trump signing IP tariffs at the White House

Despite Trump's tough talk, that USA negotiators have chose to keep negotiating is due primarily to the fact that Congress has underlined that any revised deal must include both Canada and Mexico, The NYT noted.

"The three countries in North America, the economy is pretty integrated", Trumka said in a Fox interview. Those constituents have also expressed concern that Trump will intensify a trade war with Beijing this week by announcing tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods.

President Trump on Wednesday said the "intense" negotiations over a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should result in Canada treating the US fairly on trade.

Using the dubious example of his own success in convincing Ronald Reagan to do something the US president had already announced he wanted to do in his inaugural address, namely open trade from the Yukon to the Yucatan, the former Canadian prime minister advised Justin Trudeau to develop a close, personal relationship with Trump.

"It won't be fine for Canada, but we love Canada", he is quoted in the report as saying.

Whether Trump could make good on that threat remains an open question.

While Canada is clearly under pressure from Trump, "it's not clear sailing on his part either", Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian diplomat and now a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario, told BNN Bloomberg Television on Tuesday.

The Trump Administration notified Congress Friday of its intent to reach a new NAFTA deal with or without Canada. We haven't seen whole chapters of the thing. "So ensuring that we continue to control our news, our broadcasts, our airwaves and our media is really - keeping it in Canada and independent - is something that's really important to us".

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"Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off", he tweeted on Saturday.

At the same time, Trump needs a win on trade ahead of the US midterm elections in November that will test the president's ability to keep control of Congress.

Perhaps more than anything else, it is Trump's stated willingness to conclude a bilateral deal with Mexico that leaves Canada out that alarms supporters of the North American partnership. But the prime minister noted Canada has shown "a certain amount of flexibility in signing other trade deals". "We'll walk away and not sign a deal rather than sign a bad deal for Canadians".

Throughout the day Friday, it became increasingly clear that Canada and the USA would be unable to reach an agreement.

The Americans and Mexicans are in a hurry to sign a deal before United States midterm elections in November and the transfer of power to Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the following month. But they have also bogged down over sensitive issues related to Canada's highly protected dairy sector and the Trump administration's zeal to eliminate a dispute-resolution mechanism that Ottawa regards as crucial. Canada is the major export destination for 36 USA states, and many of Trump's political supporters have asked that he "do no harm" to the deal, to begin with. Canada now faces a serious threat of trade and investment diversion over time if Mexican producers have tariff-free access to the USA while Canadian producers do not.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending NAFTA's dispute resolution mechanism as necessary in a world where the president of the United States "doesn't always follow the rules".

The notice had to be sent Friday in order for Mexico's outgoing government to sign the new deal before it leaves office December 1.

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