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Trump reportedly said he won’t compromise with Canada on NAFTA

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donald trump
U.S.
President Donald Trump makes brief remarks during a meeting with
FIFA President Gianni Infantino and U.S. Soccer President Carlos
Cordeiro in the Oval Office at the White House August 28, 2018 in
Washington, DC.

Getty Images/Chip
Somodevilla


  • President Donald Trump reportedly told reporters in an
    off-the-record setting that he didn’t plan to compromise at all
    with the Canadians on North American Free Trade Agreement
    negotiations.
  • Trump told Bloomberg News reporters on Thursday that
    any NAFTA deal would be “totally on our terms.”
  • But he said he didn’t want to make the remarks public
    because they would be “so insulting” to Canadians, according to
    The Toronto Star.
  • Canadian officials are reportedly aware of Trump’s
    comments, which threw the ongoing talks into disarray on Friday
    — the same day the Trump administration had hoped to announce a
    deal.

President Donald Trump threw ongoing trade talks with Canada into
disarray Friday morning, after telling reporters in an
off-the-record discussion the previous day that he didn’t plan to
compromise with Canada at all on the North American Free Trade
Agreement negotiations, The Toronto Star reported.

Trump told the reporters any deal reached would be “totally on
our terms” and suggested that Canadians would have “no choice”
but to go along with the plan, out of fear that Trump would
impose auto tariffs.

“Off the record, Canada’s working their ass off. And every time
we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a
Chevrolet Impala,” Trump said, according to The Star, referring
to a car produced at a General Motors plant in Canada.

Trump also told the reporters he didn’t want his comments
published because it would be “so insulting” to Canadians.

“Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. If I say no,
then you’re going to put that, and it’s going to be so insulting
they’re not going to be able to make a deal … I can’t kill these
people,” he said. “Again off the record, they came knocking on
our doors last night. ‘Let’s make a deal. Please.'”

The Canadian government is reportedly aware of Trump’s remarks,
and one official told The Star that the Americans are not
offering “any movement” on the issues Canada wants to
negotiate. The White House told The Toronto Star it was
still looking into the authenticity of Trump’s reported remarks.

NAFTA talks came down to the wire Friday morning, as officials
from Canada and the US attempted to reach a deal by the end of
the day.

Canada and the US have been at loggerheads over several key NAFTA
provisions, particularly agricultural and trade dispute
resolution issues. The US has demanded concessions from Canada on
its protected dairy market, while Canada is fighting to keep the
dispute-settlement mechanism that the US wants to eliminate.

The talks followed an announcement by Trump and Mexican President
Enrique Peña Nieto on Monday that the US and Mexico had reached a preliminary deal — a
move seen as upping the stakes for Canadian negotiators, who
risked being excluded from a bilateral agreement.

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