Canada-U.S. relationship may take a while to heal now that they've reached a deal: Former ambassador
With the former NAFTA nations having found common ground on a new deal, one former U.S. Ambassador to Canada says America needs to focus on repairing its relationship with its closest trading partner.
“It’s going to take a while to repair this relationship,” Bruce Heyman said of the Americans’ diplomatic ties to Canada in a BNN Bloomberg interview on Monday.
“We got a deal. That’s good news,” he added, [but as international affairs expert] Roland Paris was just quoted on his Twitter feed: ‘It’s going to take a lot more than a signature from a pen to cure the damage that has been done over the last year and a half by the president.’”
Speaking to BNN Bloomberg the day after negotiations on the newly-christened United States Mexico Canada Agreement wrapped up, Heyman said that Trump’s harsh trade rhetoric and the lingering threat of tariffs continue to be bones of contention between the allied nations.
“The President actually did three things that I think damaged the relationship. One was his language: His language to the Prime Minister, the foreign minister, and to the Canadian people. Two, were tariffs: Saying ‘you’re violating national security’ against Canada on steel and aluminum. And, three, the threat of auto tariffs,” he said.
He said there’s still time to get a deal done on the steel and aluminum tariffs, and that there are two possible avenues for Canada to get this resolved.
“The first level is sitting down and doing a separate negotiation and saying: ‘Hey, we’ve got to figure this out because ‘national security reasons’ is not a good reason to be taxing aluminum and steel,’ especially since the U.S. has a surplus in steel,” he said.
Failing that, Heyman said, Canada could simply wait out the U.S. mid-term elections.
“The bigger ally you might have is Congress, because I think the President is abusing his authority under [Section] 232 [of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962] to actually implement these tariffs,” he said.