Published: Thu, September 27, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Trump says he rejected meeting with Canada's Trudeau

Trump says he rejected meeting with Canada's Trudeau

WASHINGTON-A trade deal with the United States would not be useful if it did not include protection from possible future tariffs from President Donald Trump, Canada's ambassador to the USA said on Wednesday.

Trump said Wednesday that he rejected a meeting with Trudeau "because his tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I told him, 'Forget about it'".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who spoke at the sidelines of the event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in NY, had also sent mixed signals.

Trump then repeated his displeasure with Canadian trade officials - "I must be honest, we're not getting along at all with their negotiators" - and accused Canada of taking advantage of the USA for years. "That's the big one".

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. "There are very large issues", Lighthizer said at the Concordia policy summit in NY.

Observers say the patience of US lawmakers is waning, particularly with a good deal with Mexico on the table.

As the NAFTA negotiations are wrapping up, and after a successful renegotiation of the US-South Korea free-trade agreement, the Trump administration's focus appears to be shifting to trade talks with Japan.

"We don't like their representative very much", he said, which some took to mean Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been leading the charge to have a new deal in place.

Hedge funds bet on shortage of Brent oil: Kemp
As new U.S. sanctions against Iran come into force on November 4, importers would find it harder to buy oil from Tehran. The higher oil prices could cause problems for Trump in the lead up to the midterm congressional elections in November.

Both the US and Mexico have said they will press ahead with the bilateral accord they reached last month, with or without Canada.

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Trump was twice asked if he would pull out of the existing Nafta deal; he declined to say. "We don't have any comment beyond that".

'Canada has a long way to go.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, speaks during a news conference at U.N. headquarters during the General Assembly of the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 26, 2018.

"I don't like NAFTA".

"If Canada doesn't make a deal with us, we're going to make a much better deal", he said. Another hurdle to a trilateral NAFTA deal is Ottawa's demand for the United States to drop auto tariffs and to preserve Chapter 19 which stipulates how trade disputes are supposed to be settled. "Under our deal, not going to happen anymore". Supporters of Mexico's incoming government, which takes office December 1, are not especially fond of NAFTA, which is why both countries want the deal done before then.

Trump reiterated his threat to apply auto tariffs to Canadian imports if a deal can't be reached. "We will put billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury".

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