Canada sticks to plan to stay at NAFTA talks despite Trump attack

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President Donald Trump claimed he snubbed a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the United Nations this week.

"His tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I told him 'forget about it, '" said Trump, at a press conference in New York City, on Wednesday.

"That's the motherload, that's the big one", Trump told reporters.

"How do you sell a dairy product at 300 percent?" he said, adding that it is obviously Canada's way to back-door a trade barrier disguised as a tariff.

"We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada", Trump said.

"I think Minister Freeland is a great foreign minister every single day", said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.

Trump and several of his top aides have said Canadians were refusing to rework NAFTA because they want to continue protecting their local dairy industry through a controversial management program.

"If we don't make a fair deal for the USA after decades of abuse, Canada will be out", Trump tweeted.

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. "Frankly, we're thinking of just taxing cars that come in from Canada". He declined to answer when asked whether Trump had lied. Tariffs are paid by importers of products, not foreign countries, and US business executives have said they will probably be forced to pass these costs on to consumers.

Mexico and Canada have stood firm on the importance of maintaining the trilateral format of the NAFTA free trade deal, even as Trump has signaled a desire for individual deals with each country.

That could end up hurting USA auto companies that make cars in Canada and buy auto parts from Canada.

"The Americans are finding that the negotiations are tough, because Canadians are tough negotiators, as we should be, but a good and fair deal is still very possible", Trudeau said, speaking with reporters on his way into a cabinet meeting on Parliament Hill.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics poll showed a majority of voters in the industrial states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin opposed tariffs on Canada.

U.S. producers actually sell more dairy product to Canada than they import, and the 300 per cent tariff only applies to goods above the quota, which the United States does not meet, according to trade experts.

At 4:01 p.m. (2001 GMT), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent lower at $1.3047 to the greenback, or 76.65 USA cents, the smallest decline against the US dollar among G10 currencies.

"I don't like NAFTA".

Earlier Wednesday, Canada's US envoy David MacNaughton, who has taken part in the Washington talks alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, pegged the likelihood of a new trade deal by Sunday's congressional deadline at a "five" on a scale of one to 10.

In May, the United States imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum from much of the world, including Mexico. It's been great for Mexico. "I mean Mexico has 25 percent of our oil business now because of NAFTA", said Trump.

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