Canada refusing to make concessions on NAFTA

US-Canada deal in doubt; focus shifts to Japan trade talks

Trump called Mexico "great" as the two countries have come to a trade deal agreement.

"We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada - we don't like their representative very much", Trump said.

The comments, along with those from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday, suggest that the U.S. will begin to finalize its pact with Mexico while somehow continuing talks with Canada, and holding open the possibility of tucking the northern nation into the deal at a later date.

The US and Canada are under pressure to reach a deal by September 30.

Remaining sticking points concern Canada's state-managed system of dairy production, protections for Canadian cultural industries and provisions for resolving dispute that arise among NAFTA partners, which Trump is seeking to eliminate.

Trump has demanded major changes to NAFTA, which he has said caused USA manufacturing jobs to move to low-wage Mexico.

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But on August 27, less than two months after Trump's call to Lopez Obrador, negotiators for the United States and Mexico struck a deal.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau's envoy to the USA stressed that Ottawa won't sign a deal that lacks a robust dispute settlement mechanism, nor will it join an agreement if it means Canada will still be subjected to American tariffs under the guise of national security.

Trudeau made the comment Wednesday when asked by a reporter whether it is possible to reach a deal on NAFTA without addressing tariffs Trump imposed on steel and aluminum imports.

The 24-year-old trade agreement generally prevents the three parties from imposing tariffs on imports from one another. "I think it's important to keep North America together, even if it takes more time" he said. We're going to tax the cars that come in.

Another sticking point is Canada's protected dairy industry, which isn't in the current deal but where the USA wants concessions.

Trump's new threat comes just four days before the American-imposed deadline, set for September 30, to provide Congress with updated text of the NAFTA deal.

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Trump vowed Tuesday, during his address to the UN General Assembly, that his administration would systematically renegotiate "broken and bad trade deals".

He did, however, reiterate his threat to slap Canadian auto imports to the US with tariffs, which experts say would devastate industries in both countries.

Canada is also resisting US demands to open the protected dairy industry to USA competitors.

The trade agreement, which took effect in 1994, removed most trade barriers between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, leading to a boost in trade, but it encouraged U.S. automakers and other manufacturers to move south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican labor.

Canada is the United States's largest trading partner, but Trump has accused Canadians of ripping off American workers off for years, largely because of complaints he has heard from dairy farmers in Wisconsin and NY. Supporters of Mexico's incoming government, which takes office December 1, are not especially fond of NAFTA, which is why both countries want the deal done before then.

Trudeau said that his government's ongoing push to get a seat on the UN Security Council is to help make sure that Canada is part of the highest-level conversations when it comes to democracies and defending human rights. "It's been long and exhausting, but I think we've narrowed the gap".

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