US President Donald Trump confirmed on Wednesday that he had refused to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, accusing Canada of treating the United States very badly.
Yeah, I did, he told a news conference in New York when asked by a reporter whether he had rejected a one-on-one meeting with Trudeau. Canada has treated us very badly.
That came after the incident on Tuesday in which Trump appeared to rebuff Trudeau when he approached to shake hands, even though the Canadian leader downplayed the incident.
The two nations have been locked in negotiations for a year on a rewrite of the 25-year-old continental trade deal that Trump blames for losses of US jobs and industry. But the US leader criticized Canada's trade negotiators and cast doubt on the chances of reaching agreement on a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), again threatening to impose tariffs on all auto imports.
I must be honest with you, we're not getting along with their negotiators we think their negotiators have taken advantage of our country for a long time, Trump said.
Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has spent much of the last month in Washington for talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and repeatedly commented on the progress being made and the goodwill in the negotiations.
Trump once again complained about Canada's controlled dairy market, although his comments referred to tariffs that do not apply to US products.
They have treated our farmers in Wisconsin and New York state and a lot of other states very badly, he said. ”How do you sell a dairy product at 300 percent (tariff)?”
US producers actually sell more dairy product to Canada than they import, and the 300 percent tariff only applies to goods above the quota, which the US does not meet, according to trade experts.