After referring to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries” and branding Mexicans as “rapists,” “criminals” and “bad hombres,” President Donald Trump just declared Canada “very spoiled” and “very difficult to deal with” – because when has he really hesitated from insulting a foreign government or a foreign leader without giving any thoughts to diplomatic relations?
The commander-in-chief’s harsh remarks towards the United States’ neighbor to the North came while he was speaking to the reporters outside the White House about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Canada and Mexico’s efforts to renegotiate it.
“NAFTA is very difficult. Mexico has been very difficult to deal with. Canada has been very difficult to deal with … but I will tell you that in the end we win. We will win, and we'll win big,” said Trump, who vowed to scrape the 24-year trade agreement during his contentious presidential campaign. “We'll get along with Mexico, we'll get along with Canada. But I will tell you, they have been very difficult to deal with. They're very spoiled — because nobody has done this. But I will tell you that what they ask for is not fair.”
Trump, who is reportedly considering steep tariffs of 25 percent on imported vehicles, promised auto workers the new deal would make them "extremely happy."
“They have been taking advantage of the United States for a long time. I am not happy with their requests,” Trump continued, lambasting Canada and Mexico.
It’s important to point out automobiles have been one of the most contentious topics in NAFTA negotiations, as the Trump administration reportedly wants to limit duty-free status to the vehicles that have their most of their parts created in the U.S. and North Americas.
In the past, Trump has described NAFTA as a “cash cow” for Mexico.
When asked about Trump's comments, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said, “I have described Canada's position, I think at some length, and people can judge which adjectives they choose to apply to that position.”
She also explained some progress was being made on the trade deal.
“Let me be very clear, first and foremost with Canadians, that the government of Canada, the prime minister and I personally will always be absolutely resolute in our defense of the Canadian national interest, all the time, and very particularly during these NAFTA negotiations,” she told the reporters.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Kevin Lamarque