Donald Trump says he rejected Trudeau’s request for one-on-one meeting on NAFTA
Sep 27 2018
The President imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico in June, and has threatened to bring in additional duties on imported autos as well.
President Donald Trump on Monday imposed tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting swift retaliation from Beijing on US$60 billion in U.S. products.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted Canada over the slow pace of talks over NAFTA, saying he was so unhappy that he had rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's request for a one-on-one meeting.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, at a United Nations press conference on Wednesday, that Trump has told him directly, "a few times", that "if we renegotiate NAFTA, if we get to a NAFTA deal, there will be no need to worry about these other things".
On Tuesday, Lighthizer - also in NY for the UN General Assembly - said while the two sides remain far apart on a number of issues, the two sides have agreed for now to deal with the issue of 232 tariffs separately.
Lighthizer said that there "is still a fair amount of distance between" the USA and Canada.
"We're going to keep focusing on trying to get to the right deal for Canadians". "I think our view is now we'll turn to that as a next stage". He said there is a possibility that Canada could build on what has already been agreed between the United States and Mexico.
"I don't think there's anything to read into it", Trudeau said. "It was an interaction like so many are in the United Nations - quick but cordial".
He added: "We're sort of running out of time".
The comments also mark a new low in relations between the two leaders.
The NAFTA impasse can't be helping matters, either.
He suggested there is deep mistrust in Chrystia Freeland, the lead Canadian trade negotiator, and her team.
Trudeau said existing US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in late May would have to be scrapped before Canada felt comfortable signing a new NAFTA.
Ford is looking at speeding up plans to build more cars in Chinese plants, with the growing trade war with the United States making USA exports less attractive, a senior executive has said.
Canada is "anxious" to strike an agreement to bring some certainty to the investment climate and to open the door for Ottawa to start working more closely with the Americans on some of the bigger issues that confront both countries, he added. "We are very much looking in a positive and constructive way to getting to a renewed NAFTA that will be a trilateral agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States".
"I'm anxious a little bit that time will catch up with us", he said at a luncheon, noting that he had spent more time in Washington DC working on trade issues than ever before.