Trump claims he rejected Trudeau meeting over Nafta frustrations

Trump Confirms Rejecting Trudeau's Meeting Invite: 'I Told Him 'Forget About It''

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he rejected a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid a bitter NAFTA renegotiation.

"We will keep working as long as it takes to get to the right deal for Canada", Trudeau told reporters at the United Nations.

Malmstrom reacted strongly to the suggestion that the US administration is attempting to bully Freeland after Trump criticized Canadian NAFTA negotiators in a press conference Wednesday. However, if anything that might add more pressure on the United States, which has squeezed a good deal out of Mexico.

The US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer - Freeland's counterpart at the talks - complained on Tuesday that Canada was not making enough concessions and warned that time was running out.

"His tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I've told him forget about it", Trump said of Trudeau.

Relations between the two neighbours have been strained since Trump assailed Trudeau at the G-7 meeting in June, calling him a "weak" and "dishonest" back-stabber.

The United States has imposed a September 30 deadline for Canada to agree to the text of a new NAFTA.

The Trump administration has said the text of an agreement is needed by Sunday to allow the current Mexican government to sign it before it leaves office at the end of November.

"We talk regularly. I don't think I have advice to give her, but we are sharing our experiences because it's more important than ever that the European Union and Canada are sticking together", she said.




The Canadian leader added existing USA tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, which were implemented in late May, would have to be scrapped before Canada felt confident in signing a new NAFTA agreement. "They're treated our farmers in Wisconsin, and NY state, and a lot of other states very badly", he said, citing 300 percent Canadian tariffs on dairy products.

"With Mexico, we're not going to say: "No deal" because of Canada", Lighthizer said. The U.S. president stayed seated as he extended his hand for a cursory handshake.

Other senior US officials have been voicing frustration with Canada lately as the talks have dragged on.

First, there were the comments from USA national security adviser John Bolton, who suggested Monday that requests for a bilateral meeting "couldn't be accommodated".

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

USA producers actually sell more dairy product to Canada than they import, and the 300 per cent tariff only applies to goods above the quota, which the United States does not meet, according to trade experts.

USA automakers and congressional aides now believe a deal with Canada is not possible by the deadline, which they said would most likely prompt the United States to move ahead with a bilateral agreement with Mexico.

USA lawmakers at the Lighthizer meeting cited him as saying the earliest they would be able to consider a deal with Mexico, even a bilateral agreement, would probably be next February or March.

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