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In ongoing NAFTA re-negotiations, Canada demands rollback of states’ right-to-work laws

parliament hill in ottawa

From his earliest days as a candidate, President Trump complained about NAFTA, calling it the worst deal ever.

But soon after taking office, he backed away from his pledge to tear up the trade agreement. Instead, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are re-negotiating NAFTA.

Earlier this week, Canada made a demand that could certainly resonate here in Michigan — a call to roll back the right-to-work laws which allow workers to opt out of paying dues to the unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

The laws are currently on the books in Michigan and 27 other states. Critics say right to work weakens unions by starving them of money.

Adrian Morrow, a correspondent for Toronto's Globe and Mail on U.S. politics, joined Stateside to talk about Canada's goals for NAFTA. 

He said that while the practical reason for the demand is that the U.S. labor laws take jobs from Canada, there might be other motivation as well. 

"The real reason [for the demand] more is that this is a bargaining chip where Canada's entire kind of strategy with NAFTA is to try to put a whole bunch of big things on the table themselves with the idea that they can sort of bargain those down or trade them off to sort of stop things that Donald Trump wants to do that would take away market access or sort of take away pieces of NAFTA that Canada likes," Morrow said. 

Listen above for the full conversation. 

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