Former Canadian PM rebukes Trump on NAFTA, predicts his defeat

Sun Sep 4, 2016 2:29pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on Sunday criticized Donald Trump's potential plan to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and said the U.S. presidential candidate will likely lose the Nov. 8 election.

Speaking on CTV's "Question Period" politics talk show, Mulroney, who in the 1980s signed a Canada-U.S. free trade deal, said scrapping NAFTA will hurt the United States.

"Millions and millions of jobs in the United States depend directly upon their trade with Canada and Mexico," Mulroney said. "You tear that up - my mother used to say, 'You're cutting off your nose to spite your face.'"

Republican presidential nominee Trump has railed against the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico as a U.S. job killer, saying that if elected, he would be prepared to scrap it if he could not negotiate much better terms for the United States.

The North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994 during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump also has a hardline immigration plan that emphasized deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes. His proposals include building a wall at the border with Mexico.

Mulroney said that while Trump's rhetoric "carried him through the Republican primaries," he does not think "something that negative carries you to the White House."

Trump's campaign team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Alan Crosby)

 
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney takes part in a ceremony at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa February 10, 2015.     REUTERS/Blair Gable