Canada’s leverage is rapidly evaporating.
The Trudeau government is trying to act like everything is going just fine with NAFTA negotiations.
And now, we know exactly how bad things are going.
As reported by Tom Blackwell in the National Post, “American officials have taken the “highly unusual” step of rejecting Canada’s bid to take part in senior-level NAFTA talks between the U.S. and Mexico later this week, sources familiar with the trade negotiations said Monday. One person said attempts by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to get a seat at the table in Washington Thursday were either ignored, or spurned outright by the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.”
“Another source said the request to be at the meeting was made in a low-key fashion “so as not to spark a diplomatic incident” and was followed by “a retreat to diplomatic silence.”’
And it gets even worse:
“Indeed, recent developments point to a steady souring of relations between Ottawa and the White House. Formal, three-way talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement have not been held since May, though had been expected to restart after the Mexican presidential election earlier this month. A third source briefed on the negotiations said the U.S. side, fuelled in part by Lighthizer’s dislike of Freeland, has decided to not even let Canada back into the process until it makes some kind of substantive concession.”
An epic reversal
This marks an epic reversal of fortune, and shows how badly Freeland and the Trudeau Liberals managed the process.
When NAFTA renegotiations started, the US was almost exclusively focused on Mexico. They even spoke of wanting a quick deal with Canada, so the US could focus exclusively on their trade deficit with Mexico. At that time, the Trudeau government said they stood in “solidarity” with Mexico, and wouldn’t even consider a bilateral deal with the US.
Now, the US and Mexico seem to be getting along quite well, are having bilateral talks, and are moving closer to a deal – without Canada even being in the room.
Meanwhile, the US has directed their ire towards Canada, with potentially devastating consequences for our economy.
This situation is an indictment of Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland’s negotiating ‘strategy’, (if you can even call it that). Trudeau and Freeland pushed ‘gender’ issues and other virtue-signalling in an attempt to win votes in Canada, rather than focus on the actual negotiation. They also gave numerous speeches that were thinly-veiled condemnations of the US government, using far more critical language than they’ve used against Canada’s real ideological opponents like China.
This has left Canada without any leverage, as we could be forced to bend to the combined economic strength of the US and Mexico, being left with the scraps of whatever they decide.
It’s looking like a NAFTA Nightmare.
Photo – YouTube