Donald Trump non-committal as trade talks with Canada start

Donald Trump non-committal as trade talks with Canada start

President Donald Trump remained non-committal about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) on Wednesday as he welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House.

Mr Trudeau joined Mr Trump in the Oval Office at the start of a new round of talks over the agreement, which the US president has threatened to withdraw from if he cannot negotiate a better settlement with Canada and Mexico.

Mr Trump said: "We're negotiating a Nafta deal.

"It's time after all of these years and we'll see what happens. It's possible we won't be able to make a deal and it's possible that we will.

"We have to protect our workers and, in all fairness, the prime minister wants to protect Canada and his people also.

"So, we'll see what happens with Nafta. It has to be fair to both countries."

Mr Trudeau, in his brief remarks to reporters, spoke of the ties that bind the two neighbours and major trading partners.

"We have an incredibly close relationship. Two countries that are interwoven in our economies and our cultures and our peoples," Mr Trudeau said.

"We have a good partnership ... and that's why having an ongoing constructive relationship between the president and the prime minister is really important."

The trade negotiations this week in Washington have gotten off to a rocky start, with the US Chamber of Commerce warning the Trump administration might be sabotaging the talks with unrealistic proposals.

Mr Trudeau, making his second visit to the White House this year, was also expected to raise the Trump administration's recent decision to hit Canadian manufacturer Bombardier with punishing tariffs on its C Series airliner.

US-based Boeing alleges that Bombardier gets unfair subsidies from the Canadian and British governments.

Mr Trump, who made trade a key part of his 2016 presidential campaign, has repeatedly criticised Canada, alleging it unfairly blocks US dairy products and subsidises its softwood lumber industry.

Mr Trudeau is scheduled to visit Mexico on Thursday to hold additional discussions on Nafta.

AP


More in this Section

Amazon bars video app TikTok on workers’ phones, reports sayAmazon bars video app TikTok on workers’ phones, reports say

Ghislaine Maxwell seeks jail release in Epstein abuse caseGhislaine Maxwell seeks jail release in Epstein abuse case

Donald Trump postpones New Hampshire rally over tropical stormDonald Trump postpones New Hampshire rally over tropical storm

Comet provides spectacular show as it streaks past EarthComet provides spectacular show as it streaks past Earth


Lifestyle

Naomi Campbell model tells Michael Odell why she’s inspired by Black Lives Matter and the young people taking action against racial injusticeModel behaviour - Naomi Campbell at 50

Eve Kelliher explores temples of Zoom to get verdict on relocation from boardroom to spare roomWhat we've learned from world's biggest remote working experiment

As those of us who love to have friends round are tentatively sending out invitations, we’re also trying to find a workable balance with necessary social distancing rules, writes Carol O’CallaghanTable manners: How to entertain at home post-lockdown

Helen O’Callaghan says asthma sufferers need to watch pollen levelsBreathe easy: Pollen tracker protects asthma sufferers

More From The Irish Examiner