In this interview with BNN, Ed Devlin discussed the trade relationship between Canada and the US, and the complications surrounding a potential new NAFTA deal.
Ed Devlin began by saying that, in the short term, the harsh rhetoric on trade between the US and Canada will cool off. He believed that the US will have a difficult time going through with auto tariffs on Canada if they have waived them on Europe, since it will put Ford and GM at a disadvantage. The real question is whether can they get a new NAFTA deal in September. If the deal gets pushed past September and into a new administration for Mexico, it could be much harder to negotiate. Ed thought that while a trilateral agreement between US, Canada, and Mexico will be difficult to get, it is more likely than separate bilateral deals. He said it might end up being Mexico that agrees to the deal first, with Canada second, but that we would have to wait and see. The main point of contension, according to Ed, was that Canada does not want a sunset clause or US courts arbitrating disputes.
Ed continued by stating that while Trump’s recent conciliatory tone might be just a short-term expedient, it is hard to say for sure. The politics, especially of the US mid-term elections, will play a big role in policy-making. He thought that it looked like Trump was trying to downplay security disagreements with allies and instead focus on getting them together to confront China, especially on trade issues and intellectual property rights. Ed thought that it is probably in the self-interest of the US to not create tensions amongst their closest allies, especially their trading partners in North America.