Trump Avoided Trudeau More Than Once at UN, Official Says

Trump Avoided Trudeau More Than Once at UN, Official Says

Troy Powers
September 28, 2018

Justin Trudeau says he made no requests to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump while the two leaders were in NY this week for the United Nations General Assembly.

"[Mr Trudeau's] tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I told him forget about it".

One of the primary sticking points is a demand from the Trump administration that Canada cut dairy subsidies, a move that would provoke the ire of part of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's political base.

Trudeau, who has repeatedly stated he would rather walk away from NAFTA than sign a bad deal, spoke before Lighthizer at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in NY and took a more cautious tone.

"I must be honest with you, we're not getting along at all with their negotiators", he said at a United Nations news conference in NY. "I have so many friends ... but that has nothing to do with this".

The United States, which has imposed a September 30 deadline for Canada to agree to the text of a new NAFTA, has already concluded a trade deal with Mexico.

In August, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, confirmed that no NAFTA agreement was reached with the US.

"Frankly, we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada", Trump said.

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USA lawmakers at the Lighthizer meeting cited him as saying the earliest they would be able to consider a deal with Mexico, even a bilateral agreement, would probably be next February or March.

The president added new pressure to trade talks Wednesday when he took aim at Trudeau and the Canadians, saying he won't make the deal they're seeking, that he doesn't like Canada's representative and that he might apply auto tariffs to the northern nation.

And then, for good measure: "We don't like their representative very much". "Canada would like to be in the agreement".

Cameron Ahmad, Trudeau's spokesperson, told several reporters that "no meeting was requested". Canada's dairy market has remained largely closed to the U.S. ever since American dairy farmers were caught excessively dumping products inside of Canada's markets several decades ago.

At 4.09pm local time (9.09pm BST), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.5 percent lower against the United States dollar at 1.3018, or 76.82 USA cents. I've never liked it, it's been very bad for the United States.

Speaking to the Globe and Mail, he said: "The United States moving ahead without Canada shows that Canada may be left out altogether". It's been great for Canada. "I mean Mexico has 25 percent of our oil business now because of NAFTA", said Trump.