British Columbia

Donald Trump says NAFTA 'destroyed' U.S. at rally near Canadian border

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee spoke in Lynden, Spokane, Wash. but bypasses Seattle.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee in Lynden, Wash., bypasses Seattle

Thousands lined-up to see Donald Trump during his visit to Lynden, Wash. During his speech, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate called NAFTA 'one of the great economic disasters.' (CBC)

Donald Trump held a rally minutes away from B.C.'s border on Saturday where he touched on lumber and international trade.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee hosted a 3 p.m. PT rally in Lynden, Wash. — a city less than 15 minutes south of Aldergrove, B.C. Earlier in the day, at noon, he held another event in Spokane, Wash.

During his 45 minute speech in Lynden, he meandered from topic to topic — from his love of his evangelical supporters to attacking Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by calling her "crooked."

He called NAFTA "one of the great economic disasters" that's "destroyed" the U.S., a message he first shared back in September 2015.

Trump also spoke about international trade, specifically pertaining to lumber.

"You can't sell your timber ... they won't even take it and when they do take it, they charge you tax," he told the crowd of thousands without clarifying which country "they" are.

"When we take their product, come on in folks, come on in. We're not going to do it."

On Saturday morning, during an interview with CBC Radio's The House, B.C. Premier Christy Clark chided Trump for his anti-trade talk, equating it to building a wall between the two countries.

She wants Americans to take action on a softwood lumber deal before the end of summer.

Excitement and debate

Trumps's proximity to Canada stirred up excitement and debate. Many of his supporters lined up for hours to get into the Northwest Washington Fair and Event Center.

Not surprisingly, a few of those were Canadians.

Online, many were left wondering why the presidential candidate bypassed Seattle, Washington's largest city, and chose two much smaller centres instead — one of which is so near B.C.

Some speculated whether it was a strategic decision that could lead to the consideration of a wall being built along the U.S.-Canada border, even though Trump stated back in 2015 it wasn't something he'd consider.

However, Trump did reiterate his stance on building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

"We will build the wall, it will be a beautiful wall, it will be a big wall," he said to loud cheers in Lynden. "It will have a door in it because we want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally."

Not everyone was thrilled by the controversial Republican's visit though.

Protesters were out in full force in Washington, and some British Columbians also took to social media to voice their distaste.


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