President Trump's tough stance on trade forces Mexico, Canada to make choices

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

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.

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

"The Americans are finding that the negotiations are tough because Canadians are tough negotiators, as we should be", he told reporters Thursday morning on his way into a cabinet meeting.

"But a good fair deal is still very possible".

Trump said he told Mexico that the U.S. has to "keep companies", but Mexico is also getting a lot in the new U.S. -Mexico trade deal.

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

He said both that there's a "good chance still" that the US and Canada will reach a deal, but also that "probably or possibly" they won't.

A Trump administration official said the text of the agreement with Mexico was set to be published on Friday.

Separately, a well-placed Canadian source said there were no immediate plans for any more talks with the United States.


Tim Scott, a Republican senator from SC, said Tuesday he'd prefer Canada be included, and wouldn't say if he'd vote for a bilateral U.S. -Mexico deal.

The US leader has also threatened to leave Canada out of the deal unless it signs up to the agreement by Sunday.

Trudeau's interactions with the mercurial US president have been a subject of great curiosity over the course of his three days at the General Assembly.

But Mr Lighthizer on Tuesday said time was running out for Canada to be included, and Mexico's trade negotiator Kenneth Smith Ramos said the two countries are ready to proceed. "But it will probably or possibly be just USM", he said suggesting it will likely only include the USA and Mexico.

Even so, the two leaders have spent little time together in the spotlight since Trump's infamous outburst following this summer's G7 meetings in Charlevoix, Que., where Trudeau's seemingly benign defence of Canadian interests at a post-summit news conference sent the president into a bitter Twitter tirade from the confines of an airborne Air Force One. Officials in the PMO insisted no such request had been made, given already close contact with the White House.

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

The NAFTA impasse can't be helping matters, either. "I think Canada would like to be in the agreement, I think the USA would like them in the agreement", he said.

"We'll see where it goes, but so far it's been tough", he said. Tariffs are paid by importers of products, not foreign countries, and USA business executives have said they will probably be forced to pass these costs on to consumers.

Congress has until the end of the month to approve any trade deals, which means Canada may have to wait until lawmakers reconvene. "It's been long and exhausting, but I think we've narrowed the gap".

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