Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is not focused on a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) name-change Thursday in response to a report that U.S. President Donald Trump has a new name in mind.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Trump proposed to change NAFTA’s name to the “USMC” pact — standing for U.S., Mexico and Canada — at a private Republican fundraiser Wednesday. Trump also stated that he would drop the letter “C” if Canada doesn’t agree to the changes he is seeking, according to sources.
When asked whether the name change — along with the removal of Canada from the trade deal — is a realistic threat at a press conference, Trudeau said, “I don’t think [negotiators have] spent much time talking about what the name, or potential name, or renaming could be.
“We’re focused on making sure we’re delivering good jobs and growth for Canadians and opportunities for all of us.”
WATCH: Freeland traveling back to Saskatoon to update Trudeau on NAFTA negotiations
The president allegedly revealed his name preference at a fundraiser that included a private meeting with the president for half an hour that a dozen corporate executives attended at a cost of US$100,000 per seat, followed by a dinner of about 175 people that cost US$35,000 per couple. The event raised US$3 million for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee for the president’s 2020 re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Trump has previously disparaged the NAFTA name, saying it has a “bad connotation” when he announced the U.S. and Mexico had struck a trade deal in late August, which he then called the “United States-Mexico trade agreement.”
Trump’s reported name selection has some competition, though. The United States Marine Corps often goes by the acronym USMC, even using it as a handle on Twitter.
Canada and the U.S. are currently negotiating the terms of their trade agreement after missing a Trump-imposed deadline Aug. 31.
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