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Trump: Canada Being Difficult in NAFTA Talks
USAgNet - 08/28/2017

President Donald Trump again suggested the North American Free Trade Agreement be terminated, tweeting Sunday that both Canada and Mexico are being "very difficult," but observers and political leaders didn't appear to take the threat too seriously.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard brushed aside Trump's comment, saying we have to recognize is that the negotiations are going forward.

"When we talk to governors, when business people talk to each other, the feeling is quite good and quite positive. Everybody recognizes that trade is beneficial for both Canada and the U.S.A."

According to The Canadian Press, Sunday's tweet was the first time though that Trump has complained about Canada's role in the talks, which began earlier this month between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Sui Sui, an economics professor at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management, said she doesn't take Trump's comments too seriously either, because these kind of talks "should be hard."

"This is a pretty normal trade negotiation: each party fights (for) the best interests of their own country," she said. "The Canadian government is just doing their job, same as the Mexican government."

Trade economist Dan Trefler, professor at the University of Toronto and senior research fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, agrees that Trump's Twitter rhetoric is unlikely to translate to action. For one thing, the president is unlikely to receive the congressional approval he would need to act on a major trade agreement. "Congress has been more involved in these trade negotiations than it's ever been involved in any previous trade negotiation," Trefler says.

And while withdrawing from NAFTA would appeal to parts of Trump's base -- people who work in manufacturing jobs in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, for instance -- Trefler says it would alienate Trump's many supporters in the farm belt.

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