June 20th, 2024

NAFTA deal must be worth effort

By Medicine Hat News Opinon on August 13, 2018.

As NAFTA heads into its possible endgame, with fast-track negotiations set to begin in the next week in the hopes of coming to some type of final agreement before the U.S. Congressional elections kick off later this fall, many in Canada are wondering what we may yet have to give up to ensure a final deal gets done.

We have gone long past the point where some sort of polite, civil understanding could be reached. We have seen the imposition by our southern neighbour of tariffs crippling to our steel industry. We have seen President Donald Trump verbally assault our prime minister in a very personal way. And we have had our Canadian farms tied to the rack and used as a whipping post for Mr. Trump’s populist fear-mongering and propaganda over supply management.

There is no question blood has been let between us and our “friend” the United States over these negotiations. The only question is how big the Band-Aid is going to have to be to stanch the flow. Will the agreement be binding and long-lasting enough so Mr. Trump will lift steel sanctions against Canada? Will major concessions on supply management on the Canadian side of things ensure the United States will back off on softwood lumber or the potential auto sector tariffs threatened, but not yet imposed, by the Trump administration?

The feeling is only time will tell. But given the volatility of the current U.S. administration, and the bullying nature of this president, no one should be surprised if the Americans come back at us again with some other untenable demand in a few months time and threaten to punch our teeth in if we don’t give up our milk money, NAFTA or no NAFTA agreement. Canadians better be sure when we sign on the dotted line it is worth it.

— Lethbridge Herald

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