As United States President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (above, credit Evan Vucci/Associated Press) prepared to meet earlier this month, Americans and Canadians alike were on edge. Trump, in his campaign and in the early weeks of his presidency, repeatedly criticized NAFTA, calling it “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere.”
But following the meetings of the world leaders, fears were assuaged. Trump and Trudeau issued a joint statement, which reaffirmed trade bonds between the United States and Canada.
The statement read that “no two countries share deeper or broader relations than Canada and the United States,” and confirmed that the two nations have a mutually beneficial trade agreement, citing the $2 billion daily trade between the countries.
Since his campaign, Trump has targeted Mexico, seeking to tighten border security and lessen trade between it and the United States. Canadian businesses and other agencies feared that Trump would attempt a similar shift in trade with Canada.
While Canada reportedly owes much of its economic success to trade with the United States, The US benefits as well. 32 States name Canada as their primary market for exports, accounting for $267 billion worth of goods and services.
There was no specific mention of NAFTA in the meetings, but the general tone of the joint statement was in favor of keeping the agreement as it stands, in relation to trade between the US and Canada.
Walid Hejazi, associate professor at the Rotman School of Management, expressed his relief about the positive conclusion of the meetings. “Businesses do not like uncertainty,” he said.
While the relief is widespread, Hejazi had doubts that Trump would seek to tighten trade with Canada. He claimed that both the United States and Canada are aware of the importance of keeping “irritants” from entering a trade theater which is well balanced.