Trudeau disputes Trump's claims that Canada requested meeting with president

Alicia Cross
October 1, 2018

"I told him that we will keep insisting on having a trilateral agreement and we hope there will be an agreement between the USA and Canada", Lopez Obrador said.

A vehicle hauler heading for Detroit, Michigan, drives on the lane to Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, April 28, 2017.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he didn't request a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump while the two leaders were in NY this week for the United Nations General Assembly. "We agreed to that".

But he said he considered the substance of the US-Mexican deal to be final, and that Mexico did not want to renegotiate points that had already been agreed with Washington.

So, what concessions are being made by the United States in efforts to settle the NAFTA deal?

Queries to Canadian officials and the U.S. Trade Representative's office to verify the U.S. proposal were not immediately answered.

The Trump administration is expected to release the full text of an agreement with Mexico that's part of its effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, by September 30.

In August, Trump said that the United States and Mexico had reached an agreement in their NAFTA talks.

Despite encouraging signs, it's still far from clear whether the federal government will end the day as part of a trilateral free trade deal with the US and Mexico on the eve of a key congressional deadline.

Lopez Obrador, widely known as "AMLO", has been actively involved in the negotiations to update the trade agreement.

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Canadian and USA negotiators are close to wrapping up a final NAFTA deal by early evening but the details may not be known until Monday.

"We are in a very tough negotiation with the United States over NAFTA. there is no deadline on this".

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.

"Canada is exceptionally important". He said, "Yeah, I did".

Speaking to reporters this morning in Ottawa, Trudeau disputed Trump's statement - insisting Canada did not request a meeting with the president this week.

The government "is still having constructive discussions" with USA counterparts, and "some" progress has been made, said one insider, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the talks.

Three of the major outstanding issues between Canada and the NAFTA talks leading up to this week were Section 232 national security tariffs, NAFTA's Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism, and regulations around Canada's dairy sector. Ujczo put the odds of a deal this weekend at 75 percent.

Auto industry executives say it is unlikely those targets can be met if Canada is not part of the deal, given supply chains that crisscross NAFTA borders multiple times. Trump has repeatedly threatened to start taxing Canadian auto imports. Wyden is from OR, a state that trade more with Canada than Mexico.

In the United States, Congress must have the text of the deal by Sunday if a 60-day review period is to be respected.

'That means the negotiations aren't over yet, ' he said. However, it would also upend North American supply chains and complicate life for USA automakers. Mexican-made products were hit by those actions, which were aimed at protecting US producers from import surges. The Trump administration could face barriers in Congress if it tries to advance a deal without Canada.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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