Canada Officials React to Trump’s NAFTA Remarks: We’re ‘Not There Yet’

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland during a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

After talks that lasted all week, Canadian officials said Friday that the country is “not there yet” in negotiating a new trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico.

“We’re looking for a good deal, not just any deal. And we will only agree to a deal that is a good deal for Canada. We’re not there yet,” Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday in Washington, D.C., after a meeting with her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“We have been very clear about where our red lines are,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday at an event in Ontario. “This is something we take seriously as a renegotiation.”

“We’re going to remain constructive, positive, serious and creative about what we do around the negotiating table, in what we do in relation with the United States,” Trudeau added. “But we are also going to be unequivocal about always standing up for Canadians’ rights and Canadians’ interests.”

Their remarks come after the Toronto Star leaked what they said are off-the-record remarks Trump made to to Bloomberg News, in which he vowed any trade deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” The U.S. proposal to Canada is “going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal,” the Star reported Trump as saying.

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