Trump claims he rejected Trudeau meeting over Nafta frustrations


Trump said he was very unhappy with "the negotiations and negotiating style of Canada", and that he turned down a recent one-on-one with Trudeau because Canadian tariffs are too high.

"We are continuing to work on getting to a right deal for Canada, a right deal for Canadians, and that involves, obviously, feeling confident about the path forward as we move forward - if we do - on a NAFTA 2.0 and the ... lack of punitive tariffs that we consider are unjust".

That appeared to be a reference to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist and careful tactician whose star turn in Trudeau's government has earned her deep respect in the Liberal caucus and beyond.

Speaking at a news conference in New York, Trump also said he was planning to effectively terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement and impose steep tariffs on all automotive imports from Canada to the United States.

Relations between the Canadian and United States leaders have been chilly since June, when Trump left a G7 summit in Canada and then accused Trudeau of being dishonest and weak.

The U.S. and Canada are at odds over anti-dumping dispute panels contained under Chapter 19 of the current deal, which the U.S. wants to remove and Canada wants to keep. The president said it would be called "USM", for the USA and Mexico, instead of "USMC", and offered blunt criticism of the Canadian team engaged in the talks.

"I'm not making it anything near what they want to do", he said.

"I love Canada, by the way", he said.

As the relationship between Trump and Trudeau continues to worsen, it's unclear what this could mean for either economy or the trade relationship that connects thousands of companies in both countries. "That's the big one".

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Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to Canada, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has been very helpful to her since she arrived in Ottawa last October.

The deal with Mexico left open the question of whether Canada, the third country in NAFTA, would agree to the changes.

One of the primary sticking points is a demand from the Trump administration that Canada cut dairy subsidies, a move that would provoke the ire of part of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's political base.

Malmstrom said Trump's comments show that "it is increasingly hard dealing with the Americans". Officials in the PMO insisted no such request had been made, given already close contact with the White House.

That led Trudeau to suggest that Trump was trying to bully Canada June during a June meeting of the Group of 7 leading economies.

He added: "We're sort of running out of time".

Trump is serious about renaming NAFTA, possibly to the U.S. -Mexico-Canada pact, or USMC, said Lighthizer.

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Trump announced his support for a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, Axios reports. "It's been long and exhausting, but I think we've narrowed the gap".