Donald Trump: U.S. 'Not Even Talking' To Canada About NAFTA

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses members of his cabinet and the news media as he holds a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington U.S. Aug. 16 2018

Speaking in Washington on Thursday amid the latest round of talks between US and Mexican officials to rejig NAFTA, .

Officials from each country have insisted there's nothing unusual about the one-on-one discussions on the three-country deal because it's allowing the US and Mexico sort tough bilateral issues, such as their differences on autos.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer gestures as he testifies before Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2019 for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2018.

But some observers have refused to buy that argument.

Trump appeared to feed that belief during a televised cabinet meeting in Washington on Thursday - on the one-year anniversary of the start of NAFTA's renegotiation.

During a televised cabinet meeting Thursday, the US president said his administration isn't negotiating with Canada right now, before adding that its tariffs are too high and barriers too strong.


"We're not negotiating with Canada right now", said Trump, who has frequently complained about Canada's supply-managed dairy sector. Kalach said he expects Canada to rejoin the talks in the coming days, and both Canada and Mexico have reiterated that they want and expect NAFTA to remain a three-nation agreement. But we'll see how that works out.

"I think it's feasible to get a deal; the teams are working very hard", Kalach said in a phone interview Tuesday.

The nations are pushing for a deal by the end of this month in order to allow sufficient time for President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, to sign the pact before President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador takes office December 1.

"If you don't have a 'breakthrough, ' as you call it, don't do the deal". "If you can't make the right deal, don't make it".

The two sides have been meeting without the third member of the pact- Canada- in an effort to tackle their differences, including revamped automotive sector rules and a USA -proposal to add a sunset clause, . that could kill NAFTA after five years.

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