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COMMENTARY: Let’s not kid ourselves, Trump’s NAFTA bluster matters

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts before speaking at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday, August 22, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts before speaking at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center, in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Brandon

Canadian and Mexican officials seem to be taking a ho-hum approach to Donald Trump‘s comment that he’ll probably kill NAFTA.

But, while that may be their “official” position, you can bet that there is deep concern about the impact of Trump’s statement, and with good reason.

READ MORE: Donald Trump thinks ‘we’ll probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point’

Let’s not forget that even though members of the American negotiating team, headed by Robert Lighthizer, are savvy international trade veterans, they get their marching orders from the White House and Trump’s NAFTA rant from the other night underscores the fact that he has an “all or nothing at all” approach to the NAFTA talks.

WATCH: Trudeau says Canada’s focus on NAFTA unchanged in wake of Trump threat

Click to play video: 'Trudeau says Canada’s focus on NAFTA unchanged in wake of Trump threat'
Trudeau says Canada’s focus on NAFTA unchanged in wake of Trump threat

He doesn’t look at the NAFTA talks as a negotiation, but as a manifesto to ensure American dominance in any trade deal.

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That’s bad news for Canada for many reasons, and it could have a dramatic consequence to the auto sector in this area.

Assembly plants in places like Oakville and Windsor are nervous, but so are auto parts manufacturers that employ thousands of Ontario workers.

Trump’s threat to impose severe tariffs on the Canadian auto sector would be hurtful to the economies of both countries, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Trump.

Whether we like it or not, Trump’s NAFTA bluster matters, and it’s going to make any kind of deal much more difficult to attain.

WATCH: President Trump takes a softer tone during speech in Reno

Click to play video: 'President Trump takes a softer tone during speech in Reno'
President Trump takes a softer tone during speech in Reno

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News.

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