Trump dumps on Canada, says he rejected NAFTA meeting with Trudeau

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Earlier Wednesday, Trudeau appeared to give a gentle nudge to the president's trade ambassador, saying Trump had insisted repeatedly that punitive American tariffs on steel and aluminum wouldn't be an issue under a new NAFTA.

"The Americans are finding that the negotiations are tough because Canadians are tough negotiators, as we should be", Trudeau told reporters on the way into a regular weekly cabinet meeting in Ottawa.

He added: "We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada".

Trump then reiterated his threat to slap punitive tariffs on Canadian auto imports to the US, a tactic experts on both sides of the border have warned would devastate the industry. "I've told him forget about it", Trump remarked Wednesday during a news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

The next day, what appeared to be a brusque encounter between the two leaders - Trump appeared to ignore the prime minister at a United Nations luncheon until Trudeau tapped him on the shoulder, only to shake hands with a still-seated president - sent tongues wagging.

The current state of Canada's relationship with the United State due to the current NAFTA debate has been a rocky one, to say the least.

A spokesperson for Trudeau, however, said this was not true and that Trudeau never sought a meeting with Trump during the NY gathering.

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

Trump cited dairy as a sticking point, but Yussuff said the Canadians needs a guarantee it won't be hit with new tariffs if they sign a deal. "What we're doing is if we made a deal with Canada, which is a good chance still, but I'm not making anything near what they want to do".

He lauded U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer's negotiating then turned back to Canada. The U.S. president stayed seated as he extended his hand for a cursory handshake. The spokesperson declined further comment on Trump's news conference. "But it will probably or possibly be just USM", he said suggesting it will likely only include the US and Mexico.

"I don't think there's anything to read into it", Trudeau said.

The NAFTA impasse can't be helping matters, either. He said previous USA negotiators "didn't know what they were doing".

The White House reached a deal last month with Mexico and informed Congress of the intention to sign a new agreement by the end of November, before the new President takes office in Mexico. Another sticking point is Canada's protected dairy industry, which isn't in the current deal but where the US wants concessions. "Canada would like to be in the agreement".

"We're going to go ahead with Mexico", he said. "It's been long and exhausting, but I think we've narrowed the gap".

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