Following a week of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations that yielded few tangible results, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Saturday morning to criticize Canada’s trade history with the U.S.
“I love Canada, but they’ve taken advantage of our Country for many years!” tweeted the president.
He followed that post with another tweet, saying there is “no political necessity” for Canada to join the new NAFTA deal.
“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out. Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off,” the tweet read.
Later in the afternoon, Trump shared a Breitbart News article about the impasse in NAFTA negotiations, before tweeting that the U.S. shouldn’t have to make bad trade deals to buy friends.
Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, was engaged in NAFTA negotiations for the better part of last week after news broke that the U.S. and Mexico had tentatively agreed to a new trade pact to replace the current agreement.
In a press conference Friday afternoon, Freeland said Canada and the U.S. were working hard to reach a compromise and that the two countries “now understand each other’s position very well.” Negotiations are to resume next Wednesday.
Reports indicate that Canadian negotiators have refused to budge on supply management, the highly controlled system that regulates pricing for certain products produced by Canadian farmers, including dairy and poultry.
Sources also confirmed to Global News on Friday that Canadian officials confronted their American counterparts during trade talks about remarks allegedly made by Trump saying the possible NAFTA deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.”
The Toronto Star reported off-the-record remarks Trump allegedly made during an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday, in which, according to the Star’s source, Trump says the U.S. is not compromising at all with Canada in NAFTA talks.
Trump tweeted about the comments Friday, saying “At least Canada knows where I stand!”
In his final tweet about NAFTA on Saturday, Trump reiterated that NAFTA was “one of the worst trade deals ever made,” adding that “we were better off before NAFTA – should never have been signed!”
“Remember, NAFTA was one of the WORST Trade Deals ever made. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. We were far better off before NAFTA – should never have been signed. Even the Vat Tax was not accounted for. We make new deal or go back to pre-NAFTA!” it read.
Trump also threatened Saturday that if Congress attempted to interfere with these negotiations, he would simply “terminate & we will be far better off.”
It’s unclear where Canada and the U.S. stand in negotiations and whether NAFTA talks could soon come to a close.
—With files from Eric Stober