Is Canada being shut out of NAFTA negotiations? – National


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You don’t want U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that america is intentionally freezing Canada out of NAFTA talks to know that’s what’s occurring, observers say.

“I hardly suppose that anyone who’s adopted the evolution of the NAFTA talks over the previous weeks could be stunned that the president could be saying we’re type of retaining Canada at arms size,” stated Brian Crowley, managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Donald Trump: ‘Canada must wait’ on trade deal, but Mexican one is coming nicely

Mexico and the U.S. have been deliberating and Canadian makes an attempt to get on the desk have been “repeatedly rebuffed,” Crowley stated.

“This isn’t simply idle chat … however actually displays the coverage of the administration, which is that they suppose they should isolate Canada.”

How precisely a sidelined Canada will impression the way forward for NAFTA stays to be seen. No choice is off the desk but.

Provided that negotiations are ongoing, Elliot Tepper stated folks shouldn’t predict success or failure from no matter Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, or anybody else on the negotiating desk says publicly.

WATCH: Freeland says Canada stays ‘strongly opposed’ to sundown clause in NAFTA

All statements “ought to be taken as a part of the negotiation course of quite than as an indicator of the potential for success or failure,” stated Tepper, a world relations professor at Carleton College.

Whereas Tepper isn’t perturbed by Canada being sidelined from present discussions, he isn’t precisely optimistic.

Trump has made it clear he’d desire bilateral offers over multilateral agreements, he stated, and even as soon as Mexico and america end negotiating over auto wages, “there stay a large, severe set of potential obstacles for profitable renewal of NAFTA.”

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Being rebuffed from the desk, even simply on auto wages, is a foul signal, stated Walid Hejazi, an affiliate professor on the College of Toronto’s Rotman Faculty of Administration.

“If it’s solely the dialogue about elevating the prices in Mexico, then Canada doesn’t should be there. However after all, it’s by no means solely that in broader discussions,” he stated.

Whereas Hejazi is supportive of how Trudeau’s authorities is dealing with the file, he stated Canada ought to be cautious now about the way it proceeds.

“Any settlement isn’t higher than no settlement,” he stated. “There are many agreements we may make that will damage Canada.”

Not everyone seems to be so supportive of the federal authorities’s negotiation efforts.

WATCH: Trudeau and Freeland discuss tariffs, NAFTA at Vancouver Delight

“We ought to be again on the negotiating desk, be prepared to place water in our wine,” stated Ian Lee, an affiliate professor at Carleton College’s Sprott Faculty of Enterprise.

Trudeau began negotiations on the fallacious observe, Lee stated, committing to publicly defending sure industries quite than negotiating “the very best deal for all Canadians.”

Now there’s uncertainty, he stated, and “even the uncertainty means [Trump’s] profitable. So we’re dropping.”

Canada’s in a weak spot, Crowley stated.

There’s an actual threat now that Canada will lose its voice: “They’re going to obviously strike a take care of Mexico and say to Canada, are you in otherwise you out?”

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