President Donald Trump slammed Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Foreign Minister and the country’s top trade negotiator, during an exclusive dinner just days before the US and Canada reached a new trade agreement.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Trump told a group of Republican donors that Freeland “hates America” during an exclusive dinner on September 27 in Washington, DC.
Three days later Freeland struck a deal with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now called the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Trump had been critical of Freeland the day before at a post-United Nations press conference, taking a shot at Canada’s top negotiator during a long diatribe about the NAFTA talks.
“We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada,” Trump said. “We don’t like their representative very much.”
According to multiple reports following the release of the USMCA, Trump wasn’t the only American that Freeland rubbed the long way. Lighthizer’s relationship with Freeland became strained over the course of the relationship as neither side seemed to want to budge over key trade issues.
Despite Trump’s attacks and the acrimony between the top trade negotiators, the two sides were able to reach a trade deal on Sunday. While the deal must still be ratified by the three member’s legislatures and the USMCA is not the total rewrite of NAFTA that Trump promised, the revised deal would make some tweaks to a variety of trade rules among the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Freeland is a former journalist who was banned from Russia due to her critiques of President Vladimir Putin’s regime and has not been shy with her critiques of Trump and the administration’s policies in the past.
Recently, the foreign minister started a fight with Saudi Arabia by criticizing the country’s treatment of activists.
That disagreement led Saudi Arabia to expel the Canadian ambassadorfrom the country and freeze all talks.Russia urges Washington to return to the culture of diplomacy