"There is still a fair amount of distance between us", U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said of Canada at a conference in NY.
Trump said he would not accept the meeting with Trudeau "because his tariffs are too high, and he doesn't seem to want to move and I've told him, 'Forget about it and frankly we're just thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada, '" Trump said. The Prime Minister did not meet with the President in NY, despite both being at the United Nations for three days.
The US made a deal with Mexico in August, but stakeholders on both sides of the border have urged for the US to make it a three-way deal and include Canada.
Thomas Bollyky, a former USA trade negotiator, said there is nothing legally stopping Canada from joining the trade pact after Congress receives the text.
"We're not getting along at all with their negotiators", Trump said.
President Trump confirmed Wednesday he rejected the opportunity to meet privately with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "We are looking for the right deal". He has invoked Section 232, a previously obscure provision in US trade law that allows the president to levy tariffs for "national-security" reasons.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has indicated he may be willing to jump on a deal with the USA and Mexico, but time is running out.More news: Texoma Red Cross volunteers on standby
MacNaughton, speaking Wednesday in Toronto, said Canada wants to reach a deal that Trump can hail as a victory but nevertheless has red-line issues, including the need for dispute panels and protection from tariffs.
"On steel and aluminum ... we started off originally trying to have some kind of an overall agreement", he said. The decision will fall to congressional leaders, who are generally supportive of free trade and keeping Canada in the pact.
"How do you sell a dairy product at 300 percent?" he said, adding that it is obviously Canada's way to back-door a trade barrier disguised as a tariff. "I think there's a possibility there to build on what they agreed". "It was an interaction like so many are (at the) United Nations - quick but cordial".
Specifically addressing Canada's NAFTA team, Trump said: "We don't like their representative very much".
"With Mexico, we're not going to say: "No deal" because of Canada", Lighthizer said.
"I'm anxious a little bit that time will catch up with us", he said, noting that he had spent more time in Washington working on trade issues than ever before. "I think it's important to keep North America together, even if it takes more time" he said.