The fourth set of talks for changes to the North American Free Trade deal begin with a rocky start.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened to call off a major deal to purchase arms from the US over the prevailing tariffs row between the two countries.
Previously, the Canadian government was set to buy 18 Super Hornet fighter jets from the American aerospace company Boeing.
Things however, got muddled when Boeing successfully lobbied the Trump-led government to levy anti-dumping duties on its Canadian adversary Bombardier, over the sale of CSeries aircrafts in the US market.
Following the talks with the US President, Trudeau told the media, “I highlighted to the president how we disagreed, vehemently, with Commerce’s decision to bring in countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Bombardier.”
The Canadian Prime Minister made it clear that the Trudeau government did not see Boeings attempts to force thousands of Canadians out of jobs across the country as an encouraging move.
“And I certainly mentioned that this was a block to us purchasing any – making any military procurements from Boeing,” – he said.
Following the complaint filed by Boeing against Bombardier, the US Department of Commerce found Bombardier guilty of exploiting the available state subsidies.
This resulted in a 220% countervailing duty imposed on the import of Bombardier’s CS100 and CS300 airplanes into the US.
As a response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s threat, Donald Trump responded with, “If we can’t make a deal, it’ll be terminated and that will be fine… It has to be fair to both countries.”
Even though almost three-quarters of Canada’s total annual exports are made to the US, things haven’t quite been the way they used to be in the past.
There has been an alarming deterioration of trade ties between the two countries, especially since the Donald Trump’s inauguration this year.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.