Former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney rebukes Donald Trump on Nafta, predicts his defeat

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona. PHOTO: AFP

TORONTO (Reuters) - Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney on Sunday criticised Donald Trump's potential plan to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and said the US presidential candidate will likely lose the Nov 8 election.

Speaking on CTV's "Question Period" politics talk show, Mulroney, who in the 1980s signed a Canada-US free trade deal, said scrapping NAFTA will hurt the United States.

"Millions and millions of jobs in the United States depend directly upon their trade with Canada and Mexico," Mulroney said. "You tear that up - my mother used to say, 'You're cutting off your nose to spite your face.'"

Republican presidential nominee Trump has railed against the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico as a US job killer, saying that if elected, he would be prepared to scrap it if he could not negotiate much better terms for the United States.

The North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994 during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump also has a hard-line immigration plan that emphasized deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes. His proposals include building a wall at the border with Mexico.

Mulroney said that while Trump's rhetoric "carried him through the Republican primaries," he does not think "something that negative carries you to the White House".

Trump's campaign team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.