President Donald Trump boasted earlier this month about successfully threatening Prime Minister Justin Trudeau into NAFTA concessions, claiming that Canada wasn’t “nice” to the U.S. on trade until he intervened and “made them nice.”
While speaking at a Republican dinner in Washington, Trump told the audience: “Canada’s very, very tough. You know, we love Canada. We think of the beautiful song and the ice hockey games. O Canada, isn’t it beautiful. But in the meantime they knock the hell out of us on trade, and they have been doing it for a long time, and they’re very tough, and they’re not at all nice about that situation. But we’ve made them nice. We’ve made them nice,” he said.
“And they’re not happy about what happened, but our farmers are gonna be able to sell now into Canada, which they were restricted from doing.”
Trump claimed he had emphasized the tariff threat by calling Canadians into the Oval Office and showing them “a little plastic car.”
“Every time I had a problem, I would just take, you know, especially cars — I had a little plastic car on my desk, and I’d have the leaders come over and I’d just take the car out, put it on the front of the desk, they say: ‘OK, we agree.’ Because the big thing is the cars. Canada’s sending us tremendous numbers of cars, they’re practically untaxed, and yet they don’t take our agricultural product,” he said.
Last year, I obtained Trump remarks in which he claimed he got Trudeau to make concessions by threateningly displaying “a picture” of an Oshawa-made Chevy Impala.
In yesterday’s telling, he did the threatening by displaying…”a little plastic car.” pic.twitter.com/lVJKrqujGW
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 3, 2019
The Star reports:
Trump spoke as his administration struggled to earn congressional support for the new NAFTA deal. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him earlier Tuesday to reopen the talks with Canada and Mexico to address her party’s concern about the enforcement of labour provisions.
Trudeau’s government has also been making demands to Trump, suggesting that the House of Commons will not hold a ratification vote until the president lifts his tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
Trump is still contemplating tariffs on imported cars and auto parts, but Trump agreed in the new NAFTA deal to effectively exempt Canada from any such tariffs.
At one point during his rambling speech, Trump appeared to believe his remarks were being delivered in private and mused that his speech would “leak.” In fact, it was being filmed by C-SPAN cameras.
Trump also falsely told the crowd that noise emitted by wind turbines “causes cancer.”