Concerns about a NAFTA deal with Canada grew early Friday after Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada is looking for a "good deal, not just any deal".
The Trudeau government is facing criticism from political rivals for remaining absent from the table during five weeks of summertime, bilateral negotiations between the USA and Mexico.
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At an event in Charlotte, Trump said, as he did on Twitter, that he was not unhappy that the Star published the remarks he had made "off the record" to Bloomberg News in an interview on Thursday.
The report clarified that while Bloomberg News had entered into an off-the-record agreement with Mr. Trump, the Toronto Star was not bound to any such agreement.
The Canadian dairy industry is only about a tenth the size of the United States industry, said Mike von Massow, a food economist at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Canada is the No. 1 destination for American products shipped overseas, and more than 8 million U.S.jobs are supported by trade with Canada, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Following four separate meetings on Thursday, which continued late into the night, Ms Freeland told reporters that a deal could not be reached, adding that talks would resume on Friday. The most frequently cited points of deep disagreement included Mexico's bid to safeguard its burgeoning auto sector-Trump's most obvious target-and Canadian resistance to USA demands for more access to Canada's protected dairy market and an end to NAFTA's dispute settlement panels.
Today was the deadline for Canada and the United States to reach a NAFTA agreement.
Few foresaw how Canada's dairy industry would become Trump's poster child proving that NAFTA is "the worst deal ever", as the president likes to call it.
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He appeared to be referring to the Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway project that would link Kenya's capital with its major Indian Ocean port.
Having sunk the negotiations that he apparently meant to sink anyway, Trump confirmed that he had meant to sink them all along in a Friday afternoon tweet. They have tremendous trade barriers and they have tremendous tariffs.
That gesture echoed his comments Monday via speakerphone with U.S. President Donald Trump. "And we'll only agree to a deal that is a good deal for Canada", Freeland told reporters.
In a written statement, the USTR says the talks with Canada continue but "there have been no concessions by Canada on agriculture". It was unclear whether the two countries had agreed a deal.
Dairy has emerged as a significant sticking point at the NAFTA table, where USA officials are demanding its northern neighbour open its market up to American milk products. "Will tax cars if we can't make a deal!"
The U.S. president has repeatedly criticized Canada's "unfair treatment" of American dairy farmers - even though the United States has a surplus in dairy trade with Canada. "I think it just stuck in the president's craw, to a certain degree", von Massow said.
The U.S. and Canada are wrangling over several tough issues, including American demands for greater access to the Canadian dairy market and Canada's insistence on maintaining NAFTA's existing procedure for resolving disputes. My job is to find the deal that works for Canada...
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