Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Trump Threatens That Canada ‘Will Be Out’ of Trade Deal, Warns Congress Not to ‘Interfere’

President Donald Trump warned Canada Saturday that it “will be out” of the new North American trade deal unless it’s “fair” to the United States, and threatened Congress to not “interfere” with the negotiations or he would otherwise scrap the current deal.

Trump formally informed Congress on Friday that he intends to enter a new trade deal with Mexico, adding that administration hopes to include Canada in the pact later, The Washington Post reports. U.S. and Canadian negotiators worked throughout the week to come to an agreement and include Canada in the new pact, but negotiations failed to produce an agreement by Trump’s Friday deadline.

On Saturday, however, Trump took to Twitter to issue a warning that he would leave Canada behind on the new North American Free Trade Agreement and would dismiss the U.S. from the trade agreement if Congress “interfered.”

“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off…” Trump wrote.

“We make new deal or go back to pre-NAFTA!” Trump wrote in a subsequent tweet.

According to ABC News, it is unclear if the Trump administration has the authority to strike a deal only with Mexico and exclude Canada from the agreement. Congress also has to approve any new trade deal, and it appears it might refuse to endorse an agreement without Canada, a longtime ally of the U.S.

A U.S.-Mexico deal sealed on Monday did not include Canada. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland then went to Washington D.C. to engage in talks to keep Canada in the regional trade agreement.

Freeland, however, could not break an impasse in four days of negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. American and Canadian negotiators are set to meet on Wednesday to break the deadlock on issues such as Canada’s dairy market, patent protections for U.S. pharmaceuticals and disagreements over the process for resolving trade disputes, The Post reports.

Canadian officials had accused the U.S. of refusing to offer concessions. On Friday, The Toronto Star appeared to validate these claims when it published comments that Trump had made in which he told Bloomberg News journalists that negotiations to rework the trade agreement had to take place on his terms.

A few weeks ago, Trump entered into negotiations with Mexico, leaving out Canada. Current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has said that he wants to sign a deal before he leaves office on Dec. 1, ABC News reports. Nieto’s successor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has had representatives at the negotiations, but if the deal is not signed prior to Nieto leaving office, it could complicate the deal.

This timeline was the catalyst for Trump’s letter to Congress Friday, initiating the 90-day required notice period for Congress before the president can legally sign a new deal, and giving Nieto the time to sign the new pact before leaving office.  

Under U.S. trade rules, however, the text of the new trade agreement doesn’t need to be made public for another 30 additional days, giving the U.S. team more time to attempt to reach a deal with the Canadians.

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.