Negotiations entered a crucial phase this week after the United States and Mexico announced a bilateral deal on Monday, paving the way for Canada to rejoin talks to modernize the 24-year-old accord that underpins over $1 trillion in annual trade.
Talks are to resume Wednesday in Washington. But they are looking down the barrel of a last-minute ultimatum to sign a deal already decided by Mexico and the U.S.
"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", Trump wrote on Twitter.
"Congress should not interfere w/ these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off", he added.
Among other things, the president said he was "scaring the Canadians into submission by repeatedly threatening to impose tariffs", while at the same time warning that leaking his insults of Canadians would cause the deal to fall apart because "it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal".
Daniel Dale, the Star reporter whose name was on the article, said that the Canadian side was "complaining to me about the Trump team showing no flexibility even before I asked them for comment this morning on the Trump quotes".
On the other side of the border, however, Trump singled out those protections for Canadian farmers as an unfair blow to their U.S. counterparts, tweeting in March that the country should treat American farmers better. I am used to it.
This product is still a "pretty tiny" share of the market, but its advent raised new alarm bells in Canada, said von Massow.
In a news release, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that meetings with Canada about a new trade deal "were constructive, and we made progress". "And they absolutely do bring good faith and goodwill to the negotiating table".
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Their joint news conference was held as federal government negotiators and their USA counterparts met in Washington, D.C.to try to hammer out a new North American Free Trade Agreement.
Turning to Canada, he said: "I think it is going to happen and we really have developed a really good relationship".
"Big issues being solved by Mexico and the United States with Canada being presented with a deal that has largely been concluded. And we're working hard to find that win-win space". He also said any deal with Canada would be "totally on our terms".
'Off the record, Canada's working their ass off. The Impala is manufactured by General Motors at its Oshawa, Ontario plant.
Despite the president's assertions, however, it is still possible that the leaks of his remarks came from another official within the Trump White House and not from the Bloomberg reporters themselves.
He wouldn't comment on the obstacles that remain and reiterated he won't negotiate in public.
"I believe that the Canadian government has put a fearless face on what in effect is, from my point of view, a very unfortunate situation".
Freeland has been in meetings all week with her American counterpart. Freeland planned to be on the call, as did Canada's ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, and Dominic LeBlanc, the federal minister responsible for intergovernmental affairs.
"To continually undermine the industry is absolutely devastating and it weakens our industry overall", said David Wiens, vice president of Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Trump also wants a NAFTA deal that eliminates dairy tariffs of up to 300 percent that he argues are hurting US farmers, an important political base for Republicans. The latter deal offered 10 other Pacific Rim countries access to 3.25 per cent of Canada's dairy market - and most analysts predict the USA will settle for nothing less in NAFTA.
Earlier in the day, both Canadian and American negotiators were showing few signs of budging on their most stubborn NAFTA positions as the day of Trump's Friday deadline began.