Trade Talk: The Video Record

Trade Talk: The Video Record

UPDATED March 15, 2018 10:47amET

March 8: U.S. President Donald Trump linked the NAFTA talks to future tariffs against Canada and Mexico:

March 5: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Canadian concerns over the potential tariffs:

Watch the ministers’ statements and Freeland’s full news conference 

Freeland said at the close of round six talks in Montreal that major gaps remain on a number of issues, but pointed to progress on “bread-and-butter trade issues” and anti-corruption measures:

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer took aim at Canadian action against the U.S. at the World Trade Organization:

Watch the ministers’ joint statement and Freeland’s news conference

Freeland and cabinet colleagues reacted in January to the possibility of a U.S. withdrawal:

Freeland, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne on the possibility of the United States withdrawing from NAFTA

Freeland spoke to reporters in November about the close of round five between Canada, Mexico, and the United States:

The official trilateral statement said: chief negotiators concentrated on making progress with the aim of narrowing gaps and finding solutions. As a result, progress was made in a number of chapters.”

Compare that to the statement following the fourth round in mid-October:

Parties have now put forward substantially all initial text proposals.  New proposals have created challenges and Ministers discussed the significant conceptual gaps among the Parties. Ministers have called upon all negotiators to explore creative ways to bridge these gaps. To that end, the Parties plan on having a longer intersessional period before the next negotiating round to assess all proposals.

October 17: With Lighthizer voicing concern that American demands weren’t being accepted, even citing a “resistance to change” from Canada and Mexico, Freeland defended her government’s approach:

October 12: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke to reporters in Mexico City:

October 11: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House — with the latter saying “we’ll see what happens” with NAFTA and dangling the possibility of separate agreements with Canada and Mexico:

Trudeau later told reporters that Canada must “be ready for anything” to happen:

Trudeau also spoke to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee before meeting Trump:

The Conservatives weighed in on round four of the talks:

Meanwhile, Trudeau’s predecessor was also in Washington to discuss the future of NAFTA:

At the same event, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross offered his thoughts on the negotiations:

October 3: Perry Bellegarde, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, talks about the need for an Indigenous peoples’ section in NAFTA:

September 27: Freeland, Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo, and Lighthizer spoke in Ottawa at the conclusion of the third round of NAFTA negotiations:

September 25: The official opposition outlined its priorities for the third round of negotiations in Ottawa:

The NDP also had questions for the government on supply management and the auto sector:

Freeland defended the government’s approach:

We also heard from Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay on the role of supply management in the talks:

Freeland met former prime minister Brian Mulroney and original NAFTA negotiators ahead of the Ottawa talks:

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna spoke after meeting her NAFTA Advisory Council on Sept. 22:

And former diplomat Robert Hage offered his preview of the third round on PrimeTime Politics Weekend:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used a Sept. 14 POLITICO event to call for a five-year “sunset” clause that would force a “systemic re-examination” of NAFTA:

The second round ended in Mexico City with these statements from Freeland and counterparts from Mexico and the United States:

U.S. President Donald Trump told supporters in Phoenix on Aug. 22 that: “I think we’ll end up probably end up terminating NAFTA at some point (video courtesy of C-SPAN):

Ron Bonnett, head of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, together with Zippy Duvall from the American Farm Bureau Federation and Bosco de la Vega Valladoid from Mexico’s Consejo Nacional Agropecuario, spoke in Washington on the first day of re-negotiations.

Watch the full video

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland appeared at the Commons trade committee on Aug. 14 to discuss Canada’s position ahead of the talks.

Freeland spoke to reporters after the meeting, along with Conservative and NDP committee members.

Here’s what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to say about reports that Canada would walk away from NAFTA re-negotiation if the dispute settlement procedure was at risk (July 25):

Learn more about Chapter 19 and the dispute resolution process:

Canada-U.S. free trade talks nearly collapsed in October 1987 over the dispute settlement issue. Here’s how former prime minister Brian Mulroney remembered those tense days, in a 2013 CPAC interview:

More recently, Canadian ambassador David MacNaughton used a July 20 event with the Washington International Trade Association to outline his hope that the NAFTA talks match the “better is always possible” slogan used by Trudeau and the Liberals in 2015.

Trudeau lobbied U.S. state governors on the benefits of NAFTA in a July 14 speech:

Trudeau has been asked about Canada’s negotiation plan several times in recent months. From question period in mid-June:

One month earlier, the response to the official U.S. notice to Congress to renegotiate:

Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump talked the following week in Italy at the G7 summit:

In April, Trump said the was prepared to move forward on extracting the U.S. from NAFTA, but agreed to negotiation after talking to both Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto:

From C-SPAN:

This followed Trump’s comments on a cross-border dispute over diafiltered milk products: Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers, it’s a disgrace. Farmers in Wisconsin and New York state are being put out of business.

Trudeau pledged to defend the supply management system in any NAFTA renegotiation:

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney, who led the governments that negotiated NAFTA and free trade with the U.S., spoke earlier that month about what Canada could face:

Trudeau’s February visit to Washington left Trump saying this about free trade:

And here’s the prime minister’s initial reaction to Trump’s 2016 victory:

Of course, free trade isn’t a new issue in Canada-U.S. relations:

John Turner, Brian Mulroney, and Broadbent remember free trade and the 1988 campaign:

Annotated Hansard: Read excerpts from the House of Commons with CPAC “footnotes”:

Mulroney and Turner: final Question Period before election (September 21, 1988)

First Speech from the Throne (December 12, 1988)

Free Trade passes the House of Commons (December 23, 1988)

Second Speech from the Throne (April 3, 1989)

Infographic: 1988 and the fight for free trade


Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush recalled the NAFTA negotiations in Montreal in June 1999:

Bush, Mulroney, and former Mexican president Carlos Salinas marked the agreement’s 10th anniversary in 2002:

Here’s additional video, courtesy of the C-SPAN Video Archive:

Mulroney and Bush hold a joint news conference in Washington: May 20, 1992

Mulroney speaks to reporters: Aug. 12, 1992

NAFTA signing ceremony in San Antonio, Texas: Oct. 7, 1992

Mulroney speaks in Ottawa: Dec. 17, 1992

MPs, including Mulroney and other party leaders, debate NAFTA in the House of Commons: May 20, 1993

Brian Mulroney speaks about NAFTA to an American audience: Nov. 18, 1993

-Andrew Thomson