After over a year of endless discussions with US and Mexican delegates over the fate of the trade deal between the three nations, the first thing Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland did after the deal got sealed, was to reach and lie down on the floor of the Prime Minister’s office.
The whole negotiation process had been really taxing and demanding, with Freeland at the mix of it all. She was partly thrilled, exhausted and tired after the proceedings, and couldn’t think of anything else other than lying down in delight.
Freeland confessed this in front of a room of Canadian and foreign leaders. She also said that there had been high moments of drama during the meetings, which she had kind of anticipated them from the start.
Freeland said, “Trade negotiations are this odd thing. On the one hand, they can be incredibly technical about really, really specific technical issues. And on the other hand, they’re punctuated by these very dramatic moments… drama is par for the course.”
She was then asked about her reaction to the personal attacks by Trump, and how she responded to the criticism from the POTUS. To this, she responded, “For us, our approach was to always be polite. We tried to always be friendly. That is always our national way. We believe strongly in using fact-based arguments and we did that, but to know what your bottom lines are and to stand firm in defence of the national interest. We were absolutely clear about that and ultimately that was understood.”
Although a tentative agreement has been reached, the USMCA deal still faces a number of hurdles before it is finally implemented and finalized.