Canada PM says won't be rushed on NAFTA, new deal not guaranteed

Trump said Mexico has been "totally great" in negotiating trade with the U.S.

Trump's comments came during an explosive press conference that included ramped-up threats to slap new taxes on Canada's auto industry - an industry Trump described as "the motherlode" - if a NAFTA deal isn't struck.

Trudeau was asked about USA trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer's recent glum assessment of the talks, which remain deadlocked over issues like dispute resolution, access to Canada's dairy market and the so-called Section 232 tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump touted the success of his trade policy, citing the renegotiated bilateral trade deal with South Korea, as well as a partial rework of NAFTA agreed to with Mexico. The prime minister said it was a quick and cordial encounter and that people shouldn't read too much into it.

While the talks have been "challenging", the ball is on the US side of the court, MacNaughton said at an event in Toronto hosted by the USA website Politico.

Hinrichs said that although "the language of the US-Mexico trade agreement should work for Canada" in the auto sector, the remaining sticking points centred on other topics, such as timber, dairy and cultural issues.

President Trump confirmed Wednesday he rejected the opportunity to meet privately with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "And if we could do it in one deal, we'll do it as one deal - if we do it in two deals, we'll do it in two deals".

"I think everybody knows what each other's position is on all of the major issues and I think it's really a question of whether or not the US wants to have a deal".

Major disagreements remain over Canada's dairy management program, a dispute resolution process and the fate of US tariffs on metals imports from Canada.

"We have always been advocates for balanced and free trade", Hinrichs said on Monday.

Congress has until the end of the month to approve any trade deals, which means Canada may have to wait until lawmakers reconvene.

"On steel and aluminum ... we started off originally trying to have some kind of an overall agreement", he said.

Trump then took aim at Canada's dairy supply management system, which he said is hurting Wisconsin dairy farmers by charging them tariffs of up to 300 per cent.

"We're going to go ahead with Mexico", he added. The pair shared an awkward handshake on Tuesday, when Mr. Trudeau approached Mr. Trump before a group luncheon.

He added that the United States was more than willing to slap tariffs on Canadian auto imports, if Canada didn't acquiesce to his demands to reduce tariffs on USA dairy. "There are all sorts of opportunities for me to speak to President Trump, and that was not the time".

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