In a speech that reminded everyone that Donald Trump loves to campaign maybe even more than actually being President, the foundations of NAFTA could be rockier than people want to believe.
The President gave a rally speech in Arizona where he stated “I don’t think we can make a deal because we have been so badly taken advantage of,” Trump said at a rally in Arizona. “They have made such great deals—both of the countries but in particular Mexico—that I don’t think we can make a deal. So I think we’ll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point.”
It has been stated by several trade pundits that the Canadian trade team is fully expecting this type of threatening language so it should not surprise anyone. President Trump does business this way. The trouble is that everyone knows it which makes it less effective. I agree with others, that the Trump threats are happening earlier than expected.
Hear the NAFTA portion of the Arizona speech, by clicking here
The President loves to make threats and throw his weight to make the other side second guess their resolve. He has done it before to Canada and Mexico since his campaign started. He understands the art of making your opponent gut check their resolve before he moves on to the next match. This is the kind of verbal sparring he loves and thrives on.
Its not the first time that President Trump is offside with his own team and supporters on NAFTA talks. On Sunday, the trilateral NAFTA negotiating teams released a joint statement showing their intent to come to terms on a modernized NAFTA quickly.
NAFTA has provided agriculture in Mexico, the United Stated and Canada with great opportunity to expand, grow and create value. The President’s comments once again show why potentially keeping the President away from the negotiations is critical to achieving a workable deal.
To be fair he did also say that, “I believe that you have to terminate to renegotiate,” signalling the a termination does not mean that the deal is dead but it could be on shakier ground than we all want to believe if Trump gets his way. Although its more likely that Trumps’s threatening hot air dissipates once the negotiations resume in the beginning of September.