NAFTA talks have concluded for the day and reports indicate that Canada and the US were unable to reach a deal.
According to CNBC, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, concluded talks with US officials this afternoon.
“We’re not there yet,” she said, speaking about an agreement. Today was the deadline for Canada and the US to reach a NAFTA agreement.
Earlier today, the Toronto Star reported that US President Donald made “off the record” comments to Bloomberg News reporters, saying that he could not make any compromises in trade talks with Canada.
However, Trump said he could not make his position public because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”
“Here’s the problem. If I say no — the answer’s no. If I say no, then you’re going to put that, and it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal … I can’t kill these people,” Trump stated about the Canadian government.
In a response to the report, Trump tweeted in all caps that he made “off the record comments” to Bloomberg.
“Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!” said Trump.
Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2018
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to Trump’s off the record comments at a press conference this morning.
“You know over the past year and a half there’s a lot of things that have been said from time to time. I think people have noticed that our government’s approach is always to stay constructive, positive, to engage on the substance of issues and to demonstrate that we understand that the path forward is a win-win-win on all sides,” he said.
However, that deal did not include Canada.
The New York Times is reporting that negotiations between Canada and the US will extend beyond today and into next week.
According to the report, Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, said that Trump notified Congress that a deal with Mexico will be signed and will include Canada “if it is willing” – 90 days from now.
Minister Freeland is expected to make a full announcement about the NAFTA decision at 4:30 pm ET.
More to come as this develops.