Why Canada’s Trudeau Had to Sign a Trade Deal with the U.S.

In June, as both nations threatened each other with tariffs during negotiations to rewrite the NAFTA trade deal, Trump tweeted that his 46-year-old Canadian counterpart was “weak” and “dishonest.” Trudeau responded by boasting that Canada “will not be pushed around” by its bigger neighbor.

But three months later, both countries came together, along with Mexico, to announce a new multilateral trade deal called the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). Although all sides gave ground, it was the Canadians who gave up the most and blinked first. Trudeau simply couldn’t afford the domestic political heat he’d face if he proved unable to cut a trade deal with Canada’s largest trading partner.