Canada column for Sunday, April 23/17
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
The Canadian government is stressing the importance of trade with the United States after President Donald Trump said Canada is “taking advantage” of U.S. workers.
In the first bitter criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement as it relates to Canada, Trump called it a “disaster” especially in dairy farming, lumber and energy.
“We're going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada very, very quickly,” he said.
Earlier, after meeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump praised the bilateral trade relationship and recommended only some “tweaking.”
More details about the irritants and suggested NAFTA changes are expected in a few weeks.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada buys five times more dairy products than it sells to the U.S. while a protracted dispute on lumber would drive up U.S. housing costs.
The stable supply of oil from Canada – one-third of all U.S. imports – was called the job-creating lifeblood of the U.S. economy.
“Any increase of trade barriers between our countries would significantly impact jobs in the United States, as well as in Canada,” she added.