The political unity that PM Justin Trudeau had achieved in relation to the global trade war, which was inexplicably started earlier this year by United States President Donald Trump, is starting to show cracks, and Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer has made it a point to remind the PM where Canada should stand in the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Mexico and the U.S. worked out their NAFTA differences on August 27; the deal they agreed to was basically unchanged and has the potential to favor Mexico down the line if certain agricultural conditions improve. As the situation currently stands, Mexico has a trade disadvantage on wheat and corn because American farmers have been able to counter climate change issues through the use of genetically modified organisms; however, this will not last forever. Trump sold the NAFTA negotiations with Mexico as a victory for the U.S. even though there is not much to cheer for, and many of his American supporters bought this claim.
With regard to Canada, Trump is using the NAFTA deal with Mexico to exert diplomatic pressure. After PM Trudeau retaliated against Trump’s onerous import tariffs, he failed to build on that momentum and seems to be ready to accept NAFTA on Trump’s terms.
Andrew Scheer is rightfully concerned about thousands of Canadian jobs that could be lost if PM Trudeau yields to Trump. It is clear that Trump wants to claim victory on this round of negotiations, and he will likely do that even if the conditions are not favorable to the U.S., but PM Trudeau stands to lose considerable political clout if the Americans end up getting a better deal.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.