Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose speaks in the House of Commons on Nov. 16, 2016. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)But Trump went much further. He called NAFTA a "disaster" in 2015, and said he would rip it up or renegotiate it if he ever won power. Offering to sit down and talk about the agreement the day after Trump's election win weakened Canada's position, said Ambrose, especially since — in her view — Trump's antipathy towards NAFTA was not really directed north of the 49th parallel. Is that a realistic view of how Trump sees NAFTA? Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of "no baloney" to "full of baloney" (complete methodology below). This one earns a rating of "some baloney" — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missing. Here's why:
Donald Trump arrives for his election night rally at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan, New York, November 9. (Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)In a June 28 speech in Pittsburgh, Trump took at aim at NAFTA once more, saying he would "tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. "And I don't mean just a little bit better, I mean a lot better. If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal." Trump did not single out Canada by name, referring only to "our NAFTA partners." Campaign officials later distributed talking points that focused on Mexico, not Canada. On Tuesday — well after Ambrose made her statement — CNN obtained what it described as a transition memo detailing Trump's first 200 days. According to the network, the memo says Trump intends to begin the process of withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA on the first day of his presidency.
"We lose with Canada — big-league. Tremendous, tremendous trade deficits with Canada."
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Canada, Mexico present united frontSinclair said Mexico and Canada should join forces. Indeed, The Canadian Press reported Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke last week about trade issues following Trump's victory. Adam Taylor, a trade consultant and former aide to ex-Conservative trade minister Ed Fast, says Ambrose may have a point that Trump is more concerned about Mexico than Canada. But given that all three countries have highly integrated economies, "any moves to affect just one will inevitably affect all. To suggest otherwise doesn't appreciate the 21st century realities of the North American production platform." THE VERDICT Much of Trump's anti-trade rhetoric has been wrapped up in his broader disdain for Mexico. But even before he became the Republican nominee, and then the president-elect, he made no secret of the fact he didn't like NAFTA and would either seek to have it amended or killed. That has implications for Canada, whether or not Trump names Canada in his anti-trade tirades. The leaked document about his transition plan, obtained this week by CNN, leaves no doubt about that — although Ambrose didn't have the benefit of that knowledge when she made the remark. For those reasons, Ambrose's assertion that Trump's NAFTA rhetoric is aimed at Mexico, not Canada, contains "some baloney." METHODOLOGY The Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:
No baloney — the statement is completely accurate A little baloney — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is required Some baloney — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missing A lot of baloney — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truth Full of baloney — the statement is completely inaccurate