President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he rejected a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid a bitter renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, also known as NAFTA.
"Yeah I did", Trump said.
A spokeswoman for the Canadian prime minister denied that he had requested any such meeting, but Trump's comments on Wednesday marked a new low in relations between the two leaders.
Malmstrom reacted strongly to the suggestion that the US administration is attempting to bully Freeland after Trump criticized Canadian NAFTA negotiators in a press conference Wednesday.
"That's the motherload, that's the big one", Trump told reporters.
NAFTA, a trilateral trade pact comprising the U.S., Canada and Mexico, has been in force since 1994.
"If we push it beyond that date, then we have a new negotiation with Lopez Obrador and we don't know where that would go at all", Lighthizer said.
"I think Minister Freeland is a great foreign minister every single day", said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna.
The U.S. has suggested it will forge a new NAFTA deal with just Mexico if it fails to reach an accord with its northern neighbor.
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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday that negotiators are "sort of running out of time" to include Canada in the trade deal that the U.S. made with Mexico last month.
"If it doesn't happen by the end of the week, we'll just keep working away and trying to get the best deal for Canada", David MacNaughton told a Toronto event arranged by Politico Canada. But Trudeau refused to answer whether he feels the president lied. Tariffs are paid by importers of products, not foreign countries, and USA business executives have said they will probably be forced to pass these costs on to consumers.
"In Canada, the export is very focused historically on the USA, so it's a little bit bigger step to try to get accustomed to the European Union system". "Canada has treated us very badly".
"Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around", Trudeau said at the time.
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.
At 4.09pm local time (9.09pm BST), the Canadian dollar was trading 0.5 percent lower against the U.S. dollar at 1.3018, or 76.82 USA cents. I never liked it.
"They (the United States and Mexico) made certain agreements", he said.
Under a USA legal process known as Trade Promotion Authority that was invoked to revamp NAFTA, Americans lawmakers need to review the text of the agreement 60 days before President Donald Trump can sign it. It's been great for Canada.
Malmstrom said Trump's comments show that "it is increasingly hard dealing with the Americans".