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Trump rejected Justin Trudeau, Canada meeting over NAFTA, trade, tariffs

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donald trump justin trudeau canada
Canadian Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau (R) is greeted by U.S. President Donald
Trump prior to holding talks at the White House in Washington,
U.S., February 13, 2017.

Reuters/Carlos Barria

  • President Donald Trump said he rejected an offer to have a
    bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • During a press conference Wednesday, Trump pointed to
    Trudeau’s unwillingness to back down in North American Free Trade
    Agreement talks as why he rejected the meeting.
  • Trump also appeared to take a swipe
    at Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia
    Freeland, the country’s chief NAFTA negotiator.
  • The US is threatening to leave Canada out of a revised
    NAFTA, instead moving forward with a bilateral deal with
    Mexico.

President Donald Trump turned down a one-on-one meeting with
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during this week’s United
Nations summit due to trade tensions.

Trump claimed he rejected the meeting due to Trudeau’s
unwillingness to budge in negotiations over revisions to the
North
American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA
.

“Because his tariffs are too high and he doesn’t seem to want to
move and I’ve told him forget about it,” Trump said.

The president also took an apparent swipe at Chrystia Freeland,
Canada’s minister of foreign affairs and the country’s
chief negotiator in the NAFTA talks

“We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating
style of Canada. We don’t like their representative very much,”
Trump said.

The comments come as Canada and the US are engaged in talks to
revise NAFTA, the two-decade-old trade pact that includes Mexico.

Trump put pressure on Canada by reaching
a bilateral agreement with Mexico
to update a series of rules
on labor rights and auto manufacturing. Following the US-Mexico
agreement, Trump has threatened to exclude Canada and move
forward with just the bilateral deal.

So far the US and Canada have not been able to come to an
agreement on a slew of issues and Trump said that “Canada has a
long way to go.”

Issues outstanding include Canada’s
protection of its dairy industry
, a
dispute resolution system
that allows each NAFTA member to
file a grievance against another, and
protections for Canada
against future US tariffs.

Trump also threatened to hit Canadian cars and auto parts with
additional tariffs if the country does not make a deal.

“If Canada doesn’t make a deal with us, we’re going to make a
much better deal,” Trump said. “We’re going to tax the cars that
come in, we will put billions and billions of dollars into our
Treasury, and frankly we’ll be very happy because it’s actually
more money than you can make under any circumstance making a
deal.”

A spokesperson for the Canadian government did not immediately
return a request for comment.

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