Published: Fri, September 28, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Trump claims he rejected a one-on-one NAFTA meeting with Trudeau

Trump claims he rejected a one-on-one NAFTA meeting with Trudeau

Mexico and the USA sealed a new trade deal after the threat of sanctions forced both sides into an agreement. Trudeau's office said no such conversation had been requested.

Mr Trump once again complained about Canada's controlled dairy market, although his comments referred to tariffs that do not apply to U.S. products. The 1994 deal underpins $1.2 trillion in annual trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States. Markets and business groups are openly fretting about the damage that a collapse could provoke.

Trump has already concluded a text with Mexico, the third country in NAFTA, and is threatening to leave out Canada unless it signs up by Sunday.

His comment comes after U.S. President Donald Trump gave a freewheeling Wednesday night press conference in which he bashed Canada's negotiator, attacked the team's negotiating style, and again threatened to impose auto tariffs on Canada. "That's the mother lode, that's the big one".

Earlier on Wednesday, Trudeau shrugged off US pressure to quickly agree to a deal and indicated it was possible the three member nations might fail to conclude a new pact.

However Lighthizer said today that if it's not done in time, then Lopez Obrador might want to renegotiate: "If we push it beyond that date then we have a new negotiation with Lopez Obrador and we don't know where that would go at all", he said.

Trudeau also said a good and fair deal is still "very possible". It's the first time in his presidency Trump has clearly voiced support for creating separate Israeli and Palestinian nations.

"How do you sell a dairy product at 300 percent?" he said, adding that it is obviously Canada's way to back-door a trade barrier disguised as a tariff. "But we won't sign a bad deal for Canada or for Canadians".

"The Americans are finding that the negotiations are tough because Canadians are tough negotiators, as we should be", the prime minister told reporters in Ottawa.

At one point in his response, Trump praised Canada: "I love Canada, by the way, I have so many friends ... but that has nothing to do with this".

The three nations' auto industries are highly integrated, and tariffs on Canadian-built cars would be hugely disruptive.

"I think the USA would like (Canada) to be in the agreement, but there's a still a fair amount of distance between us", he said. Trump said he had.

The official declined to be named because the matter has not yet been made public.

Like this: