Trump says he wouldn't mind replacing NAFTA with 2 deals

Hannah Rogers
June 7, 2018

"We can say the USA went into the tariff issue alone and they remain alone around the table", said Mário Centeno, the Portuguese finance minister who participates at the G-7 by virtue of being the president of the Eurogroup, the association of eurozone finance ministers, in an interview.

G7 governments were also digesting Trump's threats to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. auto imports on purported national security grounds. It was originally proposed in March on imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

"There was the broad lines of a decent win-win-win deal on the table that I thought required that final deal-making moment", he said. "The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable". The U.S. tariff rate for the umbrellas is 6.5 per cent for umbrellas. Despite the clash on trade, however, Mr. Mnuchin said: "There were many, many areas, not only do we agree on, we're completely united on".

If the US can not produce enough steel or aluminum to meet basic national defence requirements, the reports suggest, it is a national security threat. The G-7 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Mr Morneau has called that "absurd" because Canada is no security risk to the U.S., and he warned the tariffs will destroy jobs on both sides of the border.

Canada has responded by imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff "countermeasures" on up to $16.6 billion worth of US imports.

Trump's presence at the summit could produce fireworks after Washington angered the rest of the alliance by imposing hefty steel and aluminum tariffs last week. Canada said on Thursday it will impose retaliatory tariffs on USA exports, and challenge the US tariffs under NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In the NBC interview, Trudeau said Canada would be "lodging complaints against these unfair trade practices". The EU has stated that they are preparing similar tariff responses.

Another source said there are "many ways to declare victory" and Canada wants to help Trump "succeed".

Canada is not alone in its fight: The US measures also struck other G7 nations - and those partners have returned fire with potential tariffs of their own. Officials have said cheese, whiskey, orange juice and dozens of other items will be targeted, many from states that Trump won in 2016 in an effort to pressure him to reverse course.

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Trump has argued for years that the European Union, along with Mexico and Canada, have taken advantage of lowU.S. trade barriers, which harms manufacturing at home.

Orange juice is one example of a US good that can't be substituted easily at home.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", Larry Kudlow said that the Trump administration's confrontation with Canada is a "family quarrel" that can still be resolved through negotiations.

Trump's hard-line rhetoric comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross returns from China as part of the ongoing trade discussions.

President Donald Trump says he wouldn't mind seeing the North American Free Trade Agreement replaced by two separate, bilateral trade deals with Canada and Mexico.

Next week's G7 leaders' summit, which had been expected to be a six-against-Trump event anyway, now has an even bigger storm cloud lingering over it.

"They're either going to struggle through this and remain relevant to the management of the worldwide system as it continues to evolve - or they're not", she said. He said he will be having a "frank conversation" with the president about the situation.

"We are not saying there won't be frictions", Morneau said.

Trudeau will start the week off with a series of meetings that are likely to focus on the tariff issue.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed that same sentiment on Meet The Press on Saturday.

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