Despite President Donald Trump's claims that he has delivered on his campaign promise, made to families at rallies across the country ahead of the 2016 election, to prioritize the needs of working Americans over the profits of billionaires like himself, workers' advocates on Labor Day railed against the president's clear loyalty to corporations and the one percent-as evidenced by his $1.5 trillion tax cut package and a number of other policies.
Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning that Trumka "represented his union poorly on television this weekend".
The talks had taken an odd turn for the worse Friday over news that Trump had told Bloomberg News that he was not willing to make any concessions to Canada.
"As we've said all week, we're working toward a modernized NAFTA that is good for the middle class and people working hard to join it", spokesman Adam Austen said in a statement.
Last week, Trump announced a preliminary trade agreement with Mexico that would amend NAFTA, a deal the president has long loathed. He added, "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before".
On Twitter, the president threatened to "terminate NAFTA entirely" if Congress balks at ratifying a revamped NAFTA that could go forward without Canada's involvement if ongoing negotiations fail. Per the leaked remarks published Friday, the president was discussing negotiations with Canada on a trade deal that could replace NAFTA and indicated an unwillingness to compromise, saying any deal would be "totally on our terms". The president has alsocelebrated the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to weaken unions in Janus vs. AFSCME and pushed steel tariffs which are expected to lead to the loss of 146,000 jobs.
The move came after Trumka said in a TV appearance that a renegotiated trade deal to replace NAFTA should include Canada - the nation's largest trading partner and the source of many auto manufacturing jobs for USA firms. The top Canadian trade envoy, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, then hurried to Washington for talks aimed at preserving Canada's membership in the regional trade agreement.
Support from Democrats would be needed to pass a purely bilateral deal, lawmakers said on Friday.
The comments didn't slip past Trump, known for being an avid Fox News watcher.
The administration had constructive talks with Canada this week and is still hopeful the nation will join the deal with the US and Mexico, a senior administration official told reporters Friday.
"We continue to work, we continue to talk, we continue to make progress. But, unfortunately, right now, the scale is weighted against him because he's done more to hurt workers than to help workers", he added.