US says Canada not making concessions needed for NAFTA deal

Sean Reid
September 27, 2018

President Donald Trump talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a G-7 Summit welcome ceremony in Charlevoix, Canada.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump said: "His tariffs are too high, and he doesn't seem to want to move and I've told him forget about it, and frankly, we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada".

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.

"I must be honest with you, we're not getting along with their negotiators we think their negotiators have taken advantage of our country for a long time", Trump said. "That's the mother lode, that's the big one".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has noted that there remains "some distance" between the US and Canada, specifically on how to settle trade disputes in the future, and about US access to the Canadian dairy market.

"We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada". "If we made a deal with Canada - which, you know, a good chance still, but I'm not making anything near what they want to do".


Trump then took aim at Canada's dairy supply management system, which he said is hurting Wisconsin dairy farmers by charging them tariffs of up to 300 per cent.

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.

Freeland's spokesman, Adam Austen, said Canada would only sign a good deal.

It is possible that Congress, which strongly prefers an agreement involving Canada, would allow Canada to be added to the U.S. -Mexico text at a later date.

President Trump says he has a plan for peace in the Middle East, and he's finally revealed a glimpse of what it might look like. "We're going to tax the cars that come in", he said.

"There is still a fair amount of distance between us", Lighthizer said at a conference in NY, according to press reports.


"We're going to keep focusing on trying to get to the right deal for Canadians".

"I don't like NAFTA".

"I don't really see the elements of a deal", said Mark Warner, a Toronto-based trade lawyer.

Relations between the Canadian and USA leaders have been chilly since June, when Trump left a G7 summit in Canada and then accused Trudeau of being dishonest and weak.

Meanwhile, analysts with JPMorgan Chase predict that if the United States and Mexico proceed with the deal alone, the Canadian dollar would be gravely impacted.


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