Unhappy with NAFTA talks, Trump rejects to meet Canada's Trudeau


President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he rejected a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid a bitter NAFTA renegotiation.

Well it could mean a US-Canada trade spat, auto tariffs and other problems. It was unclear who Trump was referring to but Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freehand has been the chief NAFTA negotiator for Canada. "If Canada comes along later, then that's what will happen", Lighthizer said at a conference in NY.

Shortly after Trump's news conference, the Prime Minister's Office disputed the president's statement - insisting it did not request a meeting. Lighthizer's office was not immediately available for comment.

"I love Canada, by the way", he said.

"This is a meaningful way for us to advance causes that are important to Canada, and to Canadians, like human rights, at a time where the world is certainly under various types of stress", he said.

"Yeah, I did", he told a news conference in NY when asked by a reporter whether he had rejected a one-on-one meeting with Mr Trudeau. "That's the mother lode, that's the big one".

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Craft insisted there is nothing but respect between US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Freeland at the negotiating table.

Mexico and the USA sealed a new trade deal after the threat of sanctions forced both sides into an agreement.

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.

"We know that Canada's interests are what we have to stand up for and we will", Trudeau said, speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations in NY. "If you can't have some curb on the arbitrary use of tariffs under the guise of national security, with a member of NORAD and somebody who is your closest defence partner, then I don't think it's much of an agreement". He said previous USA negotiators "didn't know what they were doing".

First, there were the comments from USA national security adviser John Bolton, who suggested Monday that requests for a bilateral meeting "couldn't be accommodated".

The official declined to be named because the matter has not yet been made public.

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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. "I must be honest with you, we're not getting along at all with their negotiators", Trump said. "It was an interaction like so many are (at the) United Nations - quick but cordial".

"Yeah I did", president Trump answered.

But a spokeswoman for Trudeau, Eleanore Catenaro, said Canada never requested the meeting in the first place.

The NAFTA impasse can't be helping matters, either.

The White House now plans to submit a new proposed trade agreement between the USA and Mexico for Congress to begin reviewing as soon as this week.

The U.S.is planning to publish the text of its deal with Mexico on Friday, three people familiar with the matter said.

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