Donald Trump uses NATO meeting with Justin Trudeau to push Nancy Pelosi to pass his USMCA trade deal
‘We actually have a very good relationship and a good relationship in terms of our countries. We’re working on the USMCA and we’re trying to get Nancy Pelosi to put it up for a vote. You know if it gets put up for a vote it passes but so far she hasn’t decided to do that,’ the president said.
‘It’s been sitting in Congress now for six or seven months and it’s a great deal for everybody so hopefully they can get it done and get it done fast,’ he added.
President Donald Trump, at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pushed Speaker Pelosi to pass his USMCA deal
Speaker Pelosi said earlier this week negotiations on the trade deal are on going with the administration
Pelosi has said negotiations on the trade deal are on going with the administration.
‘We are hoping to come near to conclusion on a US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement,’ she said earlier this week in Madrid, where she is attending a UN climate conference. ‘We still have some issues that relate to enforcement because if you don’t have enforcement you just have a nice conversation and a list of nice things, but you do not have a fair deal for workers in any of the countries.’
‘And that’s what we want,’ she added. ‘Not just a good deal for American workers but for all workers so that everyone can thrive. That has an impact on our economies on migration and international relations and again puts a better face on globalization which is inevitable, as we know.’
But President Trump then turned from asking Pelosi for a vote to slamming Democrats for their impeachment inquiry.
‘I think it’s a disgrace. I think the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. If you look at impeachment, the word impeachment, here there was nothing wrong, nothing done wrong. It was a perfect conversation with a very nice gentleman, the president of Ukraine. The conversation was perfect,’ he said of July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump continued to trash his political rivals, saying they had ‘gone crazy’ and threatened them that one day a Republican House could impeach a Democratic president.
‘The Democrats have gone crazy and you know what? They have to be careful because when the shoe is on the other foot, and some day, hopefully in the very long distant future, you’ll have a Democrat president, you’ll have a Republican House and they’ll do the same thing because somebody picked an orange out of a refrigerator and you don’t like it so let’s go and impeach them. That’s not the way our country is supposed to be run,’ he complained.
The next round of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry begin on Wednesday, when the House Judiciary Committee, which would write any formal articles of impeachment, hears from legal experts on what constitutes an impeachable offense.
The president also said he’d like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify – which Democrats want and the administration has prevented.
‘I’d like them to testify. But these are very unfair hearings,’ he said.
Trump said he’d let Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (right) – pictured at a NATO meeting with Defense Secretary Mike Esper (center) – testify if the process was fair
The president again criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff
He also pointed out Republicans have requested to question Hunter Biden and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, which Democrats who control the impeachment process have denied.
‘We want to interview these people. Well, they said no, we can’t do it. We can’t do it,’ the president argued.
‘So, when it’s fair, and it’ll be fair in the Senate, I’d love to have Mike Pompeo, I’d love to have Mick, I’d love to have [Energy Secretary] Rick Perry, and many other people testify, but I don’t want them to testify when this is a total fix.’
And he went on to trash Schiff, who has maligned in the past as ‘Shifty Schiff.’
‘I think he’s a maniac. I think Adam Schiff is a deranged human being. I think he grew up with a complex for lots of reasons that are obvious. I think he’s a very sick man. And he lies,’ he said.
The president also said next year’s G7 meeting, which the U.S. is hosting in June, will be held at Camp David.
Originally Trump announced it would be held it at his Doral, Fla., golf course but he reversed that decision when even some Republicans criticized it as inappropriate.
‘We’ll do it at Camp David,’ he said. ‘It’s nearby. It’s close. We’re going to give good access to the press. … It will be at camp David which is a place that people like.’
Trump and the Canadian prime minister agreed on trade but differed on how much Canada is giving to NATO as part of its membership dues to the alliance.
Membership dues to NATO has been an issue Trump has pushed since he became president and Trudeau was prepared, giving a pre-emptive defense of Canadian spending and pointing out Canadian troops are involved in NATO missions.
In his opening remarks, he pointed out Canada is ‘increasing our defense investments by 70 per cent over these ten years because we know that making sure that everyone is there to step up and deliver is really important.
He added that ‘we are leading the command mission in Baghdad. Canadians are a strong part of this alliance and we’ll continue to be this.’
President Trump also pushed NATO allies to pay their membership dues
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his country’s contributions to the organization
Trump, when asked, wouldn’t commit to the United States defending NAO allies who were delinquent in their defense spending.
‘Well, you know, I’m going to be discussing that today. And it’s a very interesting question, isn’t it? And, you know it also depends on what your definition of delinquent is,’ the president said.
He argued that countries that have been paying a lower percentage for years would by years behind in payments.
‘In theory you don’t just say that’s okay you don’t have to pay. I mean they really owe all that money from the past. That’s the way I look at it. If Germany is an example. Germany is paying 1 per cent and they’re supposed to be paying 2 per cent, you’re talking about billions of dollars.
‘They would owe us money. You’re talking about – really you’re talking about trillions of dollars. Nobody has ever brought that up. They just keep talking about the present,’ he added.
Trump noted Canada is ‘slightly delinquent’ in its NATO payments but added: ‘but they’ll be okay. I have confidence.’
‘Some are way below 1 per cent and that’s unacceptable. And then if something happens we’re supposed to protect them and it’s not really fair and it never has been fair and they’re paying up,’ he added.
He and Trudeau then had back and forth on how much Canada pays the organization.
‘Well, we’ll put them on a payment plan, right?,’ Trump said. ‘I’m sure the prime minister would love that. What are you at? What is your number?’
Trudeau added that ‘the number we talked about is 70 per cent increase over these past years including and for the coming years, I think including significant investments in our fighter jets, significant investments in our naval fleets. We are increasing significantly our defense spending from previous governments that cut it.’
But Trump wanted a hard number and asked for it: ‘Where are you now in terms of your number?’
Trudeau said Canada was at 1.4 per cent and ‘continuing to move forward.’
Trump nodded and pointed out ‘they’re getting there. They know it’s important to do that. And their economy is doing well. They’ll get there quickly I think.’