A former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada has pronounced that multilateral trade is “pretty much dead” under U.S. President Donald Trump.

“You’re seeing this in trade with more regional types of trade discussions,” Rotman School of Business Dean Tiff Macklem, who served as senior deputy Bank of Canada governor between 2010 and 2014, told Bloomberg News in an interview Friday. “Multilateral trade is pretty much dead. Those [discussions] can move forward without the U.S. It would be much better if they could move forward with the U.S.”

Macklem said the G7 countries are focusing on smaller regional pacts in what he called “the absence of a cohesive G20.”

Trump, who has imposed US$250 billion worth of trade tariffs on China this year, has now reportedly asked his cabinet to draft a possible trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Macklem said it’s hard to make heads or tails of Trump’s statements amid his often-tense relationship with China.

“One day he’s putting billions of dollars of tariffs on, the next day he’s talking about a trade agreement,” Macklem said.

He added that a broader discussion with America’s allies might have helped the U.S. bridge its gap with the world’s second-largest economy sooner.

“I actually think having the G7 countries engage collectively with China would be a real step forward,” Macklem said.

“We all have trade issues with China, particularly around intellectual property and I think if we could actually come together and work together to address those. That would be a very positive step forward.”