Political Corner: The end of NAFTA may be the biggest current threat to Canadian industries

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Photo by Israrul Haque / The Peak

Since the beginning of his presidency, United States President Donald Trump has talked about ending the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On Monday, August 27, President Trump got one step closer to achieving this goal by signing a preliminary trade deal with Mexico.

After securing said deal, President Trump switched his focus to Canada and assigned a deadline of Friday, August 31 for the two countries to reach a deal. However, the deadline turned out to be an empty threat, as trade discussions ended early on Friday. It was announced that they will be continued this week.

The issue President Trump has taken with NAFTA is merely another battle in his personal trade war, and one of the most significant that Canada has had to deal with since the aluminum and steel tariffs were placed on Canada in March. But with an ending to NAFTA, Canada could face dangers and costs to far more industries.

One of the major points of contention in the Canada-US trade discussion is Canada’s dairy, eggs, and poultry industries. Canada has been able to keep fixed prices on these industries since the 1970s, allowing them to take a much larger profit. While keeping protections on these industries are a large priority for Canada, there is also the threat of President Trump taking automotive production jobs from Canada.

There is no easy solution to these trade discussions. The United States has been Canada’s largest trading partner for a very long time. However, these trade discussions in America have been fully at the expense of Canada. Negotiators on Canada’s side cannot forget this, because having America as our largest trade partner is not worth retaining when it’s solely at the expense of Canadians.