Trump’s comments regarding Canada came shortly after he launched an investigation on whether foreign steel arriving in the U.S. threatens national security.
The president then broke from a prepared statement to attack Canada’s dairy, energy and lumber industries.
“I wasn’t going to do this, but I was in Wisconsin the other day…Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers is a disgrace, it’s a disgrace.” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I spent time with some of the farmers in Wisconsin and as you know rules, regulations, different things have changed and our farmers in Wisconsin and in New York State are being put out of business, our dairy farmers.”
Trump went on to suggest similar things are happening along the “northern border states with Canada, having to do with lumber and timber.”
“The fact is NAFTA, whether it’s Mexico or Canada, is a disaster for our country,” Trump said. “It’s a disaster. It’s a trading disaster.”
Trump’s latest comments were more extensive than his complaints earlier this week in Wisconsin about Canadian dairy regulations.
It’s a sign that Trump might be pushing for more extensive changes in the trading relationship with Canada than he has signalled previously, when he spoke merely of tweaking it.
Trump says he’ll have more to say about upcoming NAFTA negotiations within a couple of weeks.
More to come.
–with a file from the Canadian Press