NAFTA on the ropes after G7 meeting

The prospects of a trade war have increased and the US and Canada are now close a trade crisis with the survival of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at risk following the tense Group of Seven meeting over the weekend.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow  told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that “we were very close to making a deal with Canada on NAFTA” before Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau criticized the US after the G7 meeting, drawing a rebuke from Trump. 

Donald Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro told “Fox News Sunday: “We’d have a great deal with NAFTA by now if the Canadians would spend more time at the bargaining table and less time lobbying Capitol Hill, and our press and state governments here.” 

Navarro also said “there’s a special place in hell” for any foreign leader engaging in “bad faith diplomacy” with Trump. 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow accused Mr Trudeau of betraying the US president with “polarising” statements on trade policy, saying it risked Mr Trump looking weak in the lead up to the historic North Korea summit.

Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said the attacks were not helpful. Canada would be always willing to talk, she said, but it would retaliate to US tariffs in a measured and reciprocal way. 

“Canada does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks, and we refrain particularly from ad hominem attacks when it comes to a close ally,” Ms Freeland told reporters. 

Meanwhile, Germany and France have accused Mr Trump of destroying trust and acting inconsistently by backing out of the joint G7 statement that appeared to be aimed at creating some sort of consensus the trade dispute between the US and its top allies.

An award winning author and journalist, commentator, lecturer, and speaker, Leon is a freelance business journalist who covers a range of areas including politics, strategy, globalization, leadership and all the big trends ahead. His main skill is summing up all the news that’s around. For the last 30 years, his main focus has been on management issues. He also produces two podcasts for RMIT University, Talking Business and Talking Technology. Leon has worked for Fairfax, News Limited, AAP and the Herald and Weekly Times.

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