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By Ted Goodman
Canada is lobbying state governments and business leaders in America’s rust belt in a feverish effort to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Canada is pulling out all the stops as President Donald Trump prepares to renegotiate NAFTA, according to Real Clear World. They are lobbying governors and state lawmakers to preserve what they see as critical elements of the deal.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is gearing up for a fight with Trump over a certain provision when talks begin next month.
The Trump administration wants to eliminate a part of NAFTA that Trudeau called “absolutely essential.” Trump wants to scrap the trade deal’s dispute-resolution panel, which makes it easier for Canada and Mexico to contest trade sanctions from the U.S., according to The Wall Street Journal.
If the panel is eliminated, trade sanctions levied against Canada or Mexico by the U.S. Department of Commerce would be argued before U.S. courts, something that Canadians see as a poor option.
Trump wants to make environmental and labor disputes to include the option of tariffs. He also wants to add a provision that polices currency manipulation.
Trump’s message of “America first” propelled him to victory in November. His message on jobs, trade and the economy resonated in rust belt states that turned red for the first time in decades. Trump was able to take in rank and file union members who usually vote Democratic, despite union leadership support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton still beat Trump by eight points among union households, but that number is 10 points lower than the union household support Obama received over Romney in 2012, according to a Fox News exit poll.
The president has already pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that former President Barack Obama was negotiating as part of his pivot to Southeast Asia.