Canada stays tough during NAFTA talks, despite U.S. public pressure.
Chrystia Freeland our chief negotiator minces no words in her tough public stance on the talks.
“I am paid in Canadian dollars. U.S. legislators are paid in U.S. dollars,” she says. “It is my job to stand up for the national interest.”
She was responding to a reporter’s question after a U.S. Republican said Canada needs to “step it up” because Canadian negotiators were taking their time during the negotiations.
The politician was Kevin Brady, chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means committee.
Freeland says Canadians have been really supportive of Canada’s stance on NAFTA.
At one point she wore a white shirt with two slogans in bold black text – one on the back, the other on the front.
On the back it said: “Keep Calm and Negotiate NAFTA.”
On the front: “Mama ≠ Chopped Liver.”
She has received flowers, chocolate and notes to prove the point.
Freeland’s public stance is part and parcel of Canada’s new stance towards the talks.
Prime Minister Trudeau says the Canadian NAFTA team is “diggin in” in Washington.
“We’ve been very clear that we’re interested in what could be a good deal for Canada, but we’re going to need to see a certain amount of movement in order to get there, and that’s certainly what we’re hoping to see.”
Canada Stays Tough During NAFTA Talks
And the Americans continue with their public pressure campaign.
And that is a realization that Trump’s policy of sidelining Canada is not working.
Steve Scalise, the third most senior Republican in Congress, says Canadians should drop their hardball tactics.
If they don’t Canada risks being left out of NAFTA, he warns.
“Members are concerned that Canada does not seem to be ready or willing to make the concessions that are necessary for a fair and high-standard agreement.
While we would all like to see Canada remain part of this three-country coalition, there is not an unlimited amount of time for it to be part of this new agreement.”
And President Donald Trump also chimed in saying Canada is “not in a good position” now that Mexico and the U.S. have a deal.
But despite the pressure the Canadian team is standing firm.
And here is the latest on the NAFTA talks.