The United States and Canada failed to reach a trade agreement before the Friday deadline. The two countries had been trying to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Donald Trump has said that he would like to scrap.
What's the story?
Trump has informed Congress that it plans to go ahead with its trade deal with Mexico. The president plans to sign this new agreement, with or without Canada, in 90 days.
In a news release, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that meetings with Canada about a new trade deal “were constructive, and we made progress.” U.S. officials, Lighthizer continued, “are continuing to work toward agreement.” The two sides will meet again on Wednesday.
The sticking points in the meetings reportedly included Canadian dairy, Canadian rules for media, and how potential future trade disputes between the countries could be resolved.
“We are not there yet,” Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, told reporters on Friday. “Canada is a country that is good at finding win-win compromises — having said that, in trade negotiations, in this negotiation, we always stand up for the national interest and that is what we’re going to continue to do.”
After the Toronto Star on Friday published comments that Trump gave to Bloomberg off-the-record, Trump attacked the outlet in a tweet on Friday for violating his trust:
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
In the comments, as reported by The Star and seemingly verified by Trump's tweet, Trump said that he would not make any compromises when it came to a trade deal with Canada, but that he could not reveal that publicly or “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal,” adding, “I can’t kill these people.”
What happened to NAFTA?
Created in 1992, NAFTA created a free trade policy between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Trump has frequently slammed it has being unfair toward the United States, even referring to it as “the worst trade deal in history.”
During a televised call on Monday with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Trump praised the progress the two countries had made toward creating a new trade deal. Trump said during that call that if negotiations with Canada failed, he would “like to call this deal the U.S. and Mexico Trade Agreement” because the name NAFTA “lot of bad connotations.”
If a deal between the U.S. and Canada is struck, it will reportedly take another week for all three nations to agree on a revised version of NAFTA.