Donald Trump can’t let it go.
The daily coverage of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is full of talk about rules of origin and other minutiae, but the core issue remains fairly simple: the president of the United States is obsessed with his country’s trade deficit with Canada and Mexico. And even after six months of talks, he still appears unwilling to settle for anything less than a series of measures that materially narrow the gap.
“This is an administration that is explicitly protectionist. And in many areas, the objective quite explicitly is to shrink the trading relationship,” Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland, said at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on January 31, a couple of days after the latest round of NAFTA negotiations ended in Montreal.
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