Chrystia Freeland Keeps Cool After Trump’s Blunt NAFTA Views Reportedly Leak


Canada had offered the United States more access to its dairy market under the Trans Pacific Partnership, which it lost when it rejected that deal, von Massow said.

Both US and Canadian officials declined to answer reporters' questions Friday afternoon about the individual trade issues that still need to be resolved.

The Star published comments made by Trump during an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday, which he meant to be off the record.

The mounting tensions in Washington come after The Toronto Star reported the US president told a Bloomberg reporter in an "off the record" conversation he was not willing to make compromises in the trade talks with Canada.

That list would be longer if Canadian-made content isn't part of the equation, forcing more automakers to choose between shifting production, passing along a 2.5 percent tariff to consumers or shrinking their offerings in the US, experts said.

"Off the record, Canada's working their ass off", Trump allegedly said. "Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off", the tweet read.

During Monday's announcement with Mexico, Trump threatened to put tariffs on all cars made by Canada - an apparent effort to build pressure on America's northern neighbor only reinforced by his off-record comments to Bloomberg.

The comments stirred Canadian fear that Americans are not negotiating in good faith, and a Canadian source told AFP that Ottawa voiced disapproval to Lighthizer.

The greenback had rallied late on Thursday in a safe-haven move after Bloomberg News reported that Trump wanted to move ahead on a plan to impose tariffs on Chinese imports worth $US200 billion next week.

Friday's talks were coloured by Trump's blunt assessment of the negotiations - spoken in confidence but leaked to the media - that landed with a thud on the negotiating table.

Dale also reported that the Canadian government was "confident" the remarks were authentic.

Following a meeting with Freeland, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he was confident the United States and Canada would reach an agreement.

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"We continue to work very hard". Lighthizer told reporters Friday morning that Canada was not making concessions about United States dairy access to the Canadian market.

Trump is due to leave Washington just after midday on Friday for an event in North Carolina, which may add to the time pressures if the USA president wants to be the one to announce any agreement. "With goodwill and flexibility on all sides, I know we can get there".

In Charlotte, Trump added that if the USA does not reach a deal with Canada, "that's just fine", offering a variation of one of the lines leaked to the Toronto Star paper: "I say affectionately, we'll just have to tariff those cars coming in, that's a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States".

Reuters/Carlos Barria 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.

U.S. markets opened slightly lower on Friday, while MSCI's gauge of world stocks was down 0.25%.

The uncertainty created in the business world by Trump over global trade generally is already hurting Canadians and will be felt for some time, he said.

The current requirement is that about 62 per cent of parts be produced in the U.S., Mexico or Canada.

"It's great for us as internet leaders", said Enrique Culebro, head of Mexico's internet association, which represents Amazon, Wal Mart de Mexico and various online services.

For Ottawa, Chapter 19 is a red line.

Trump argues that Canada's hefty dairy tariffs are hurting U.S. farmers, an important political base for his Republican party.

At a speech in North Carolina on Friday Trump took another swipe at Canada.

"They're principally focused on countries that have large trade deficits with them, ' said Canada's ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton".