Trump Sets Sights On NAFTA, Labor Leaders Are Supportive

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Following the announcement of 625 layoffs at a General Motors plant in Ontario, Canada, the president of Canada’s largest auto workers union expressed support for a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Friday.

President Donald Trump frequently blasted NAFTA during his campaign, promising he would renegotiate the trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

“NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country,” the president asserted during the first presidential debate against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

NAFTA is a trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico that eliminated practically all tariffs between the three countries. The deal also did away with other trade barriers such as higher regulatory standards for foreign goods.

As the president sets his sights on NAFTA, labor leaders in Canada are voicing their support for a renegotiation of the deal. “This came right out of left field,” Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, said after General Motors announced it’s plans to lay off hundreds of Canadian employees. “This nothing to do with Trump, but it has everything to do with NAFTA,” he told Reuters Friday.

Trump has already ruffled feathers with Mexico, after doubling down on his plan to build a wall along the U.S. southern border he says Mexico will pay for. Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, responded to Trump’s comments saying the country would not pay for a wall.

Trump said earlier in January that he would begin renegotiating NAFTA when he meets with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, but a Jan. 31 meeting with Mexico has since been called off.

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