Visiting governors of Virginia and Maryland say Trump bluster hurts NAFTA talks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Visiting governors of Virginia and Maryland say Trump bluster hurts NAFTA talks

September 27, 2017 - 5:41 AM

TORONTO - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says protectionist rhetoric coming out of the White House is only hurting ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

McAuliffe, a Democrat and critic of many of U.S. President Donald Trump's policies, made the comments during a trade mission to Ontario on Tuesday.

McAuliffe, was accompanied by the Republican Governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser.

All three urged Ontario to deal directly with local and state leaders in the U.S. as Trump continues to "bluster" about NAFTA talks.

Premier Kathleen Wynne, who hosted the group at the Ontario legislature, said she talked about the uncertainty surrounding the trade discussions which are taking place in Ottawa.

In August, Trump suggested NAFTA be terminated, tweeting that both Canada and Mexico are being "very difficult."

McAuliffe said Tuesday that Trump needs rein in his attacks on the U.S.'s two best trading partners.

"I would argue that this rhetoric has to be toned down a bit," McAuliffe said. "We've got to work together. We've got to trade internationally, we've got to do business with one another. We just need to be careful about attacking those folks with whom we do business with every single day around the globe."

Hogan said he was skeptical that the president's tone will translate into tough action during the negotiations.

"I think it's probably safe to say that some of the bluster and the rhetoric you hear coming out of one part of Washington is not necessarily what the policy is going to end up being," he said. "If you take a look over the long haul, I don't think it's going to be anything like what the worst fears are."

Wynne said during the meeting the leaders spoke about the auto sector, tourism and the NAFTA talks.

"We did talk about the uncertainty," she said. "It feels to me that there remains uncertainty about the direction of the talks except that all of the governors that I've talked to believe that it's critical that we get to a good deal and that we do no harm."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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