Canada deal in doubt; focus shifts to Japan trade talks

Canada deal in doubt; focus shifts to Japan trade talks

In his first public comments since U.S. President Donald Trump's fiery press conference in which cast serious doubt on the fate of NAFTA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the Canadian negotiators and said a deal is still possible. "(Trudeau's) tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move".

He also reaffirmed Canada will not agree to a bad deal. "That's the big one", Trump explained.

Lighthizer said the US wants to see the three-way pact stay intact and remains committed to keeping Canada in the deal now or to let it join later.

However Lighthizer said today that if it's not done in time, then Lopez Obrador might want to renegotiate: "If we push it beyond that date then we have a new negotiation with Lopez Obrador and we don't know where that would go at all", he said.

"I think Minister Freeland is a great foreign minister every single day", said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

As reported by Reuters, US officials are complaining that Canada is refusing to make necessary concessions in order to achieve a trilateral pact that will update and replace NAFTA.

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That came after the incident on Tuesday in which Mr Trump appeared to rebuff Mr Trudeau when he approached to shake hands, even though the Canadian leader downplayed the incident.

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

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Any push by Trump to slap a 25 per cent tariff on imported autos and auto parts from Canada might help American workers but could also inflate vehicle prices, make US manufacturers less competitive and generate retaliation.

"Now, if Canada doesn't make a deal with us, we're going to make a much better deal".

"The Americans are finding that the negotiations are tough because Canadians are tough negotiators, as we should be", Trudeau told reporters on the way into a regular weekly cabinet meeting in Ottawa.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll showed a majority of voters in the industrial states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin opposed tariffs on Canada. The Canadian Automobile Dealers Association has warned that the auto tariffs could affect billions of dollars' worth of exports and lead to the loss of more than 100,000 jobs across the country.

"I don't like NAFTA".

"They (the United States and Mexico) made certain agreements", he said. It's been great for Mexico.

If differences with Ottawa can not be resolved by then, the Trump administration will ask Congress to approve a Mexico-only deal, he said. "But it will probably or possibly be just USM", he said suggesting it will likely only include the US and Mexico.

President Trump suggested that a potential U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade deal could be called USMC.