TORONTO—Premier-designate Doug Ford will meet with industry representatives today to discuss NAFTA negotiations as the trade talks appear increasingly troubled.
The meeting comes just days after Ford said he stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was the subject of a Twitter tirade from U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend.
Trump called Trudeau “weak and dishonest” after the G7 summit in Quebec on Sunday, apparently angered over comments the prime minister made during a press conference when he objected to American tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum last month.
Ford said Sunday that his top priority is to protect jobs in Ontario, including those of steel and aluminum workers in the province.
Trump has also taken issue with Canada’s supply management system for dairy farmers and threatened to impose 25 per cent tariffs on auto imports from Canada, a move that would hurt Ontario’s manufacturing sector.
On Thursday, Ford will sit down with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canadian ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton for a briefing on the NAFTA talks.
“I can tell you on the trade deal south of the border, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the prime minister and our federal counterparts,” Ford said Sunday. “My number one priority is to protect jobs in Ontario, especially protect the steel workers, aluminum workers.”
Ford also told reporters that he would be sitting down with federal officials to discuss the trade deal.
“We’re going to stand united,” he said. “I know all provinces should be standing united with our federal counterparts and we’ll deal with that.”