As he signed an executive order providing for a review of possible dumping of steel in U.S. markets, President Donald Trump on Thursday demanded new trade negotiations with Canada, charging American producers are being hurt in trade involving dairy, lumber, timber and energy resources.
“We going to have to get to the negotiating table with Canada, very, very quickly,” the President said in the Oval Office.
Mr. Trump has previously raised questions about U.S.-Canada trade in dairy products, but expanded those public complaints today to include lumber, timber and energy.
“We can’t let Canada – or anybody else – take advantage, and do what they did to our workers, and our farmers,” Mr. Trump said.
The President has long voiced his desire to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement – but usually has aimed his fire over unfair trade matters at Mexico – not Canada.
“The fact is NAFTA – whether it’s Mexico or Canada – is a disaster,” Mr. Trump said.
“Our farmers in Wisconsin and New York state are being put out of business,” the President said.
The complaints about Canadian trade barriers are bipartisan – especially on dairy matters, as Democrats in border states have backed the President’s tough trade talk.
It was the second time this week that Mr. Trump had taken on Canada over trade, as two days ago during a trip to Wisconsin, he said Canadian trade practices were making life difficult for U.S. dairy producers.
At about the same time that the President was taking aim at Canada today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Bloomberg in an interview that the side with a surplus in dairy trade is the U.S., not Canada.
“We’re not going to overreact,” Trudeau said of the criticism by Mr. Trump, in the Bloomberg interview.