A new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that excludes Canada won’t work, according to a top union leader in the US.
Richard Trumka, president of AFL-CIO, the largest group of labour unions in the US, explained on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that the economies of the US, Canada, and Mexico are “integrated”.
“It’s pretty hard to see how [NAFTA] would work without having Canada in the deal,” said Trumka.
The AFL-CIO, which represents 12.5 million workers, could not support a premature trade deal between the US and Mexico because “there’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
“We’ve been aggressively pursuing an agreement that works for the workers in all three countries, and I can say we’re not done yet,” he said.
Trumka criticised US President Donald Trump’s failure to look after the welfare of workers.
“The things that he’s done to hurt workers outpace what he’s done to help workers,” the union leader said.
Trump tweeted on Saturday there was “no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal”, calling the pact “one of the worst trade deals ever made”.
Throughout negotiations, Trump has been known to throw what Royal Bank of Canada economists call “tariff tantrums”, threatening to impose import taxes on Canadian goods.
But “no deal is better than a bad deal,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Despite Trump’s decision to pursue talks unilaterally with Mexico, Canadian and US negotiators are headed for another round of trade talks this week.
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