OTTAWA — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland assured reporters on Parliament Hill Tuesday that Canada can still make a NAFTA deal with the U.S. “One of Canada’s national characteristics is a talent for compromise,” she said in Ottawa.
But Louisianna Republican Rep. Steve Scalise doesn’t think that national trait is manifesting itself in the NAFTA talks.
As CBC News reported, Scalise told reporters in Washington on Tuesday, “Members are concerned that Canada does not seem to be ready or willing to make the concessions that are necessary for a fair and high-standard agreement. While we would all like to see Canada remain part of this three-country coalition, there is not an unlimited amount of time for it to be part of this new agreement.”
Freeland wasn’t aware of that statement but said, “From the outset of these modernization negotiations, Canada has been extremely co-operative. Canada is very good at negotiating trade deals. Canada is very good at finding creative compromises.”
But the foreign affairs minister also said Canada’s threat to walk away from NAFTA it doesn’t like the final deal is “not rhetoric. As the prime minister had said very clearly, our government is committed to getting a good deal for Canadians, and we absolutely believe that no deal is better than a bad deal.”
Former foreign affairs minister and Quebec Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier told The Daily Caller that the Trudeau government is gambling with Canada’s future by refusing to budge on President Donald Trump’s demand that Canada drop its support of supply management that protects dairy producers.
“Why not give him that? It would be good. The producers would be able to export and consumers would pay less for dairy products. The Trudeau government is putting at risk 20 percent of our economy because 20 percent of our economy is [dependent on] trade with the United States.”