Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Sunday that the U.S. “got the better of the deal” in the new U.S.–Canada trade deal.
Harper told host John Catsimatidis in an interview airing Sunday on AM 970 in New York that Canada was “kind of bruised” by the new agreement.
“Canadians generally recognize that the United States got the better of the deal,” Harper said. “What’s pretty clear is the U.S. got some things and didn’t lose anything. Canada had to give on some things and didn’t really have any wins.”
“And I think Canadians are fairly bruised about that because the view in Canada is that we’ve been a pretty good trading partner and play by the rules,” he added.
Harper’s comments follow after the U.S. and Canada reached a deal late last month on an updated North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The deal, dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was reached at the end of September following tensions between Ottawa and Washington.
President Trump, late last month, threatened to push Canada out of the deal, seemingly giving up on the deal’s self-imposed deadline while threatening the country with auto tariffs if an agreement couldn’t be reached.
The two countries, however, were able to strike a deal on some of the toughest issues, including providing more access to the Canadian dairy market.
U.S. and Canadian officials are expected to discuss the possible elimination of U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.
In a joint statement following the announcement of the USMCA, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that it will “give our workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region.”
Harper added Sunday that the USMCA marked progress between the two countries, stating, “…[W]e’re in a position to move forward and that’s the important thing.”