Trump ramps up confrontational rhetoric against Canada

US President Donald J. Trump (R) attends a meeting on a grant for a support program for drug-free communities, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 29 August 2018. During the meeting Trump discussed trade with Mexico and Canada. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Trump ramps up confrontational rhetoric against Canada


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US President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Canada need not be included in a new NAFTA deal, after what he calls “decades of abuse.”

Trump stepped up his attack on Canada on Monday, threatening to introduce new tariffs on Canadian-made cars unless Ottawa meets Washington’s demands.

On Friday, President Trump warned the Congress of his plans to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with a bilateral agreement with Mexico. President Trump threatened to abolish NAFTA altogether if Congress intervenes in his negotiations with Ottawa.

Lawmakers responded on Friday that they are unwilling to sign off an agreement with Mexico unless Canada was also included.

Canada shows no sign of succumbing to US pressure. Earlier on Friday, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa is looking for a “good deal, not just any deal,” Reuters reports.

Paradoxically, the US dollar appreciated against all major currencies on Friday, as investors flock to the safety of the international reserve currency. Since May 2018, the greenback has gained 9% against all major currency blocks, following an escalating trade war, turbulence in emerging economies – Iran, Turkey, Argentina – and an ongoing political risk crisis in Italy.

Meanwhile, President Trump is also making fresh demands on the EU, suggesting that a commitment to eliminate tariffs on US-made cars was “not good enough.”

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