After failing to reach a new North American Free Trade Agreement by a deadline last Friday, both Canada and the United States resumed talks this week. However, President Trump name dropped a particular vehicle as ammunition in a high-profile meeting last Friday.
Speaking to Bloomberg off the record, Canadian publication The Star obtained and published comments the president made during discussions with Canadian officials. President Trump said, “Off the record, Canada’s working their ass off. And every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala.”
The president seemingly used the Chevrolet Impala as ammunition in talks with Canadian leaders as the threat of tariffs on Canadian-made cars looms. The U.S. and Mexico have reached a tentative bilateral agreement, but Canada has yet to agree to any new NAFTA.
General Motors builds the Chevrolet Impala at the Oshawa, Ontario, production facility alongside the Cadillac XTS, and the last-generation pickup truck, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. On the idea of tariffs, surely a tax on pickups coming into the U.S. from Canada would do more harm than the Impala; GM also builds the Impala at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
More controversy surrounded President Trump’s comments as he suggested any Canadian deal would be reached on “our terms” as he continued to scare the nation with the idea of tariffs on cars. His off the record request came as he said, “it’s going to be so insulting [Canada is] not going to be able to make a deal.”
“Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. If I say no, then you’re going to put that and it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal … I can’t kill these people,” President Trump said of the Canadian government.
Bloomberg honored the president’s request to keep his comments off the record, but The Star obtained the conversation from its own source. President Trump corroborated the discussion in a tweet confirming his comments.