Nafta deal: Canada and US race to settle differences as deadline looms


"We don't like their representative very much", Trump said in an apparent reference to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. It's not clear whether, or when, a Canadian delegation will travel to Washington.

Lighthizer has praised the U.S. -Mexico deal as likely to reduce the $71 billion trade deficit with Mexico.

Speaking at the news conference, Trump alleged he refused a "one-on-one meeting" with Trudeau because of Canada's high dairy tariffs and poor "negotiating style".

'That means the negotiations aren't over yet, ' he said.

Freeland had been scheduled to deliver Canada's address to the General Assembly on Saturday in NY, but Canada exchanged the slot with another country. "There are negotiations that are going as we speak, we hope they realize that this is a great deal for all three countries".

Still, one Canadian government official familiar with the talks, asked whether an agreement is imminent, said the nations had been at this stage before, and that nothing is final.

But talks to incorporate Canada have stumbled over issues including the protected Canadian dairy industry and a provision for settling trade disputes.

Trump made the remarks during a news conference in NY earlier on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, when he was asked if he had, in fact, snubbed Trudeau.

He said he had been informed Friday that there was a counter-proposal from the United States. Would it be limits to US takeover of Canadian companies?

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Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said late Friday that the US and Canada were making a renewed push.

Under the U.S. Trade Promotion Authority law, known as TPA or "fast track", Mr. Trump must wait 90 days to sign an agreement after notifying Congress of his intention to do so. The U.S. president stayed seated as he extended his hand for a cursory handshake.

President Donald Trump, a Republican who blames the 1994 NAFTA pact for the loss of US manufacturing jobs, trumpeted the deal with Mexico as a win for Americans and threatened to close the door on Canada if it did not sign on by September 30. Canada is seeking some kind of exemption or protection from those for Canada's dairy sector, which the US wants greater tariff-free access toIntellectual property and certain pharmaceutical patents, each of which the USA wants to extend.

Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are the top auto producers in Canada, meaning any levies on Canadian vehicles would affect American companies.

Mexico also secured an exemption from U.S.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried a few times to speak with President Donald Trump on the sidelines of United Nations meetings, a US official says, but Trump avoided the Canadian leader because of a standoff in trade talks.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow (3rdR-standing) and Jesus Seade (R), Mexico's President-elect Obrador's representative in trade negotiations look on as President Trump announces the U.S. -Mexico trade deal. Meanwhile, the existing Nafta remains in effect, and any country can quit on six months' notice; no country has given such notice.

Both Ujczo and Hassan Yussuff, the head of the Canadian Labour Congress and a member of the federal government's NAFTA advisory council who was also briefed on the talks Sunday, say the question of how to deal with the 232 tariffs remains the central issue.