Freeland hits back at Kushner book, calls Trump a ‘bully’ during new NAFTA talks

Click to play video: '‘This is Canada’s future’: Freeland hopeful about new hydrogen deal with Germany'
‘This is Canada’s future’: Freeland hopeful about new hydrogen deal with Germany
After touring a hydrogen production facility in Edmonton, Alta. on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to reporters, just days after the signing of the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance. “This is Alberta’s future, and this is Canada’s future,” Freeland said, referring to the pact that will kick-start a transatlantic hydrogen supply chain as Germany shifts way from dependence on Russian fossil fuels – Aug 25, 2022

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says former U.S. President Donald Trump used “bully” tactics during negotiations on a new North American free-trade agreement more than two years ago.

Freeland was asked Thursday to respond to a characterization of herself as a frustrating and difficult negotiator in a new memoir by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

“When you’re threatened by a bully the answer is not to cave in,” she said. “The answer is to be united, and to stand strong.”

She initially linked the notion to Ukraine standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin but quickly said she wasn’t trying in any way to compare the plight of Ukrainians to Canada’s dealings with its biggest trading partner.

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In his book Breaking History, Kushner accused Freeland of purposely stalling negotiations and speaking publicly about the talks against the wishes of the White House.

He said Canada, with Freeland at the helm, engaged in “an increasingly frustrating series of negotiations” and “refusing to commit to any substantive changes.”

Click to play video: '‘No guarantees’ in trading relationship with Trump administration, Freeland says'
‘No guarantees’ in trading relationship with Trump administration, Freeland says

He was also critical of her for leaving the negotiations and holding press conferences with Canadian journalists “uttering platitudes like ‘I get paid in Canadian dollars, not U.S. dollars.'”

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Freeland didn’t directly confront any of Kushner’s assertions but said Canada’s best asset in those negotiations was a united front on the talks presented by Conservative premiers and the federal Liberal government.

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That united front included public statements backing the government against Trump by then-Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

Click to play video: 'Freeland in Edmonton to tour hydrogen production facility'
Freeland in Edmonton to tour hydrogen production facility

“Canada’s Conservatives continue to support the Prime Minister’s efforts to make the case for free trade. Divisive rhetoric and personal attacks from the US administration are clearly unhelpful.,” Scheer tweeted on June 10, 2018.

That came after Trump called Trudeau “very dishonest and weak.”

“We will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Prime Minister and the people of Canada,” Ford said, responding to the same insult.

Click to play video: 'Canada is ‘committed’ to defending Arctic, NATO allies: Freeland'
Canada is ‘committed’ to defending Arctic, NATO allies: Freeland

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