Trade experts in Canada speculate President Donald Trump may be arranging the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations to allow the U.S. to walk away from the trade deal. The Canadian Press news agency says a consensus is growing that a series of untenable U.S. bargaining positions is part of a plan by Trump to lay the groundwork so he can walk away from the trade pact. The fourth round of NAFTA talks are underway this week, with some speculating the introduction of agricultural issues in the process.
However, the Buy American proposal that would limit Canadian and Mexican access to U.S. procurement projects, while the U.S. seeks greater access to government projects by its trade partners, seems to be a sticking point. That comes with other hard issues still on the horizon, including dairy, auto parts, the dispute resolution system and the U.S. push for a review of NAFTA every five years. Peter Clark, an Ottawa-based international trade strategist who was involved in the original NAFTA talks, said the U.S. behavior is a “vivid and unprecedented example of how not to negotiate.” He called it a tactic designed to ensure failure.