President Trump announced on Wednesday he rejected a meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister this week, as the countries struggle to strike a new North American trade agreement before a self-imposed October deadline.
Mexico has already signed on to a new deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the US leader is upset over Canada’s tariffs on the US, and is considering implementing a new tax on Canadian-made cars.
Speaking to reporters at the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump said: “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 thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada.
“That’s the mother lode. That’s the big one.
His tariffs are too high, and he doesn’t seem to want to move and I’ve told him, ‘forget about it’
“We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiation style of Canada. We don’t like their representative very much.”
Disputes have also arisen between over President Trump’s request for increased access to Canada’s protected dairy market.
In a direct attack on NAFTA itself, President Trump added: “I don’t like NAFTA. I’ve never liked it, it’s been very bad for the United States.
“It’s been great for Canada, It’s been great for Mexico, but very bad for us.”
A Trump administration official has stated the side deal reached between the US and Mexico is set to be published on Friday.
The US leader has also threatened to leave Canada out of the deal unless it signs up to the agreement by Sunday.
Canada has nevertheless rejected the mounting pressure from the US, and indicated it was possible the countries may fail to conclude a pact.
Speaking to reporters at the United Nations on Wednesday, Prime Minister Trudeau said: “We will keep working as long as it takes to get the right deal for Canada.”
He has also repeatedly threatened to walk away from the talks rather than sign on to a deal which would be bad for Canada.
The Canadian leader added existing US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, which were implemented in late May, would have to be scrapped before Canada felt confident in signing a new NAFTA agreement.
Chantal Gagnon, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Trudeau, also rejected the claim that the Canadian leader had requested a one-on-one meeting, stating: “No meeting was requested. We don’t have any comment beyond that.”
Adam Button, a currency analyst at ForexLive, warned the Canadian dollar slumped due to increased risk of the US moving ahead without Canada.
Speaking to the Globe and Mail, he said: “The United States moving ahead without Canada shows that Canada may be left out altogether.
“I believe that it is still a remote possibility, but it is slightly higher than it was before this, and that’s why the Canadian dollar slumped.”
At 4.09pm local time (9.09pm BST), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.5 percent lower against the US dollar at 1.3018, or 76.82 US cents.