Donald Trump dumps on Canada, knocks Freeland, threatens tariffs

NAFTA: Lighthizer hints Mexico pact may need to be reopened if delayed

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he rejected a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid a bitter renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA.

Congress, wary of upcoming midterms that are widely expected to inject more Democrats into the current power balance on Capitol Hill, is agitating for Canada to join an existing U.S. -Mexico deal before a self-imposed deadline of Sunday.

He took aim at the country's dairy tariffs and reiterated his threat to tax Canada's auto industry.

Mexico has already signed on to a new deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the United States leader is upset over Canada's tariffs on the USA, and is considering implementing a new tax on Canadian-made cars.

Washington and Mexico City last month announced agreement on a new trade pact, but a separate track of intensive talks with Canada have so far failed to produce results.

"We will keep working as long as it takes to get to the right deal for Canada", Trudeau told reporters when asked about the increasing USA pressure to wrap up the talks.

Trump told reporters he had rebuffed a Trudeau request for a meeting "because his tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I told him "forget about it". He said there is a possibility that Canada could build on what has already been agreed between the United States and Mexico. 'And frankly, we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada.

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"There are things where, basically, we're just not prepared to give in because it would really render the agreement meaningless", MacNaughton said in a public interview with Politico in Toronto.

In a direct attack on NAFTA itself, President Trump added: "I don't like NAFTA".

Trump made the remarks during a news conference in NY on Wednesday when he was asked if he had, in fact, snubbed Trudeau. "So Canada has a long way to go".

"Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around", Trudeau said at the time.

Talks look set to stretch past the next deadline, Sunday, when the US wants to publish text of its deal with Mexico.

"I'm not going to use the name 'NAFTA, '" he said. "We will put billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury". I've never liked it, it's been very bad for the United States.

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. It's been great for Mexico.

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