While most people in the United States may not have heard, what with the non-stop stories in the mainstream media about how terrible Donald Trump is, his administration has been working to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or ‘NAFTA,’ for some time. However, the negotiations between the United States and Canada were upended on Friday morning, along with a ‘bombshell leak’ from a Canadian newspaper.
In a handful of remarks that President Trump wanted ‘off the record’ if they were true, he supposedly made inflammatory comments about Canada, and its bargaining position in the talks. Now, it seems like the negotiations may be off, or at least extremely set back, all thanks to the leak of President Trump’s ‘insulting’ statements about Canada.
He also said that he couldn’t state that publicly, because it would be “so insulting” to Canadians that they would not want to make a deal.
In another comment that he made, once again supposedly off the record, he said that the deal with America’s neighbors to the north would be made “totally on our terms,” and suggested that he was scaring the Canadians into submitting to his demands thanks to threats of tariffs.
These remarks were allegedly made during an interview in the oval office, and they were made to a reporter from Bloomberg.
The reporters at the outlet honored their statement to not publicize the remarks, or to otherwise reveal them to the public.
However, the same cannot be said for the Toronto Star, which said that they were not bound by any agreement that he made with Bloomberg.
The remarks almost immediately became a factor in the negotiations, and Justin Trudeau’s officials apparently saw the statements as ‘evidence’ that the United States had not been negotiating in ‘good faith.’
At the beginning of a meeting on Friday, they raised questions concerning the statements, according to someone from the U.S. team.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said that if these statements were made, they were made in an ‘off the record’ capacity, and that if that was the case, she wondered how the Toronto Star got a copy of the remarks.
Later, she provided an official remark, saying that both the United States and Canada remain dedicated to reaching a “win-win deal” that benefits both nations.
The debacle began at around 9 a.m. on Friday morning, when the Star asked the Trudeau team about their reaction to the remarks.
The team said that they believed the remarks to be accurate, and that they saw them as evidence that the United States, arguably the most powerful nation on Earth, did not have any actual intent to compromise.
Even before becoming aware of the comments the President made, a Canadian official had told the Canadian news outlet that they had not seen any movement on the points of contention that they most cared about.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, said that no matter what, his government would only sign a deal if it was a “good deal for Canada.”
He said that, in his belief, no deal was better for the nation than a bad deal.
As interesting and juicy as the ‘off the record’ comments are, they are not nearly as interesting as what he said to Bloomberg on the record.
He said that a deal was close with the nation, and that it might even be made by the end of the day. He also suggested that the nation had “no choice” but to make a deal with the United States.
He also said that, on the record, that the deal was going to be “totally on our terms.”
When the two negotiation teams deadlocked earlier this morning, the lack of progress was blamed on the remarks by the president.
However, while some may suggest that his comments were nothing more than bragging, if he even said them, he’s likely correct; Canada may need a deal with the United States, more than the United States needs a deal with its northern neighbors.
This is also not the first time that the President’s remarks, made off the record, somehow ended up in the hands of another media organization.
Still, it seems likely that, offended or not, the negotiations will continue to move ahead.