American president Donald Trump's self-described "trade war" with Canada has reached new, alarming heights.
For months, Trump has imposed tariffs on Canadian materials and threatened to enact potentially devastating levies on Canadian auto parts parts in an effort to force the Canadian government to renegotiate long-standing trade deals with the United States.
Trump has long complained about what he perceives as disadvantageous regulations in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the monumental accord that ensures open trade between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Protectionism and zenophobia have driven Trump to dismantle the agreement.
This morning, the president announced that American trade officials are about to finalize a new deal with Mexico, at the exclusion of Canada.
A big deal looking good with Mexico!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018
A joint agreement between the U.S. and Mexico will give Trump the leverage he needs to force Canada into a deal that favours American goods and workers to the detriment of the Canadian economy.
Our relationship with Mexico is getting closer by the hour. Some really good people within both the new and old government, and all working closely together....A big Trade Agreement with Mexico could be happening soon!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018
Following that announcement, Trump announced that he intends to officially terminate NAFTA and rename the new deal "the United States – Mexico Trade Agreement," according to the Montreal Gazette.
The new name pointedly excludes Canada.
Now Canada is left to renegotiate separate deals with Mexico and the United States but is a markedly weaker position.
This will undoubtedly have huge effects on the Canadian economy and on Canada – U.S. relations.