U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted Canada over the slow pace of talks over NAFTA, saying he was so unhappy that he had rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's request for a one-on-one meeting.
"We will keep working on a broad range of alternatives, a broad range of paths are ahead of us", Trudeau told reporters at the United Nations in NY.
Even so, the two leaders have spent little time together in the spotlight since Trump's infamous outburst following this summer's G7 meetings in Charlevoix, Que., where Trudeau's seemingly benign defence of Canadian interests at a post-summit news conference sent the president into a bitter Twitter tirade from the confines of an airborne Air Force One.
Joseph Hinrichs, Ford's executive vice-president for global operations, said that he saw no easy resolution to the US-China trade war, and that the company was planning to launch new vehicles in China - including for its premium Lincoln brand - to halt its recent slide in that market.
The Trump administration appears virtually certain to miss its weekend deadline for reaching agreement with Canada on a new North American trade deal, according to USA officials and people close to the talks. Markets and business groups are openly fretting about the damage that a collapse could provoke.
Trudeau's interactions with the mercurial USA president have been a subject of great curiosity over the course of his three days at the General Assembly.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trudeau shrugged off US pressure to quickly agree to a deal and indicated it was possible the three member nations might fail to conclude a new pact.
"Canada's not making concessions in areas we think are essential", Lighthizer said.
The chief US trade negotiator is scheduled to meet with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting in NY.
Relations between the Canadian and US leaders have been chilly since June, when Trump left a Group of Seven summit in Canada and then accused Trudeau of being dishonest and weak.
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United States and Canadian negotiators have spent more than a month trying to resolve remaining differences after Washington sealed a tentative deal with Mexico City which they intend to sign by December 1, when a new government takes office.
"There are very large issues", Lighthizer said, playing down chances of a deal with Canada.
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. On tariffs, Canada wants protection from so-called Section 232 national security measures the Trump administration has imposed on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and other countries.
US business groups, alarmed by the potential disruption to the three increasingly integrated economies, have lobbied the White House to keep NAFTA as a trilateral deal.
Speaking separately, Canada's ambassador to Washington said that on a scale of 1 to 10, the chances of an agreement by the September 30 deadline were 5. "If Canada comes along now, that would be the best".
"I don't think there's anything to read into it", Trudeau said on the brusque handshake, adding that he regularly engages with Trump and had a "very good call" with him just last week.
The official declined to be named because the matter has not yet been made public. Some have warned that U.S. trade law won't allow a November 30 vote on a U.S. -Mexico deal, because the Trump administration began the process seeking a trilateral one.
While the talks have been "challenging", the ball is on the US side of the court, MacNaughton said at an event in Toronto hosted by the USA website Politico.
Under a US 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.
The timeline is important because current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto wants to sign the deal before he's succeeded by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in December, Lighthizer said.