Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received a letter from Stephen Harper – his Conservative predecessor – who accuses the federal Liberal government of “napping on NAFTA”.
Talking at a news conference on Monday, Trudeau too the high road and refused to discuss the letter, explaining his high regard for the prime minister’s office and the people who’ve previously occupied it.
Trudeau, instead, resorted to one of his popular sales pitch speeches that highlighted the Liberal government’s ongoing efforts to secure a trade agreement that is modern and better.
“We have continually made the extremely strong case to the Americans about how important trade with Canada is, how many good jobs in the U.S. depend on trade with Canada, and how we are very much of the view that we can improve and modernize NAFTA in a way that can benefit all three of our countries,” he said.
The Prime Minister also went on to explain that the Liberal government will continue to stand up and work diligently for the greater interests of Canada, while maintaining a firm and constructive stance during negotiations.
Harper’s letter berated the Liberal government’s high-handed approach to the threats worded out by the US President Donald Trump.
The former Prime Minister believes that Trump, in his usual confrontational attitude on the matter, may not be bluffing about ending the trade agreement – something that could cost a lot to all the three countries involved.
“I fear that the NAFTA renegotiation is going very badly…
Canada’s government needs to get its head around this reality: it does not matter whether current American proposals are worse than what we have now. What matters most in evaluating them is whether it is worth having a trade agreement with the Americans or not.” – Harper wrote in his letter.
The Canadian government has dismissed the letter, calling it a gift to the US negotiators. The government stands its ground on not making the tactical error of capitulating to the obnoxious demands of the US.