U.S. and Canadian trade officials set plans to resume their talks on Wednesday with the aim of getting a deal all three nations could sign.
After four intensive days of talks in Washington between Canada and the United States, the biggest sticking points were familiar ones: U.S. demands for more access to Canada’s closed dairy market and Canadian insistence that a trade dispute settlement system be maintained, not scrapped as Washington wants.
“For Canada, the focus is on getting a good deal, and once we have a good deal for Canada, we’ll be done,” the country’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, told a news conference.
All three countries have stressed the importance of NAFTA, which underpins $1.2 trillion in regional trade. A bilateral deal announced by the United States and Mexico on Monday had paved the way for Canada to rejoin the talks this week.
But by Friday the sentiment turned, partly on Trump’s explosive off-the-record remarks made to Bloomberg News that any trade deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.” He later confirmed the comments, which the Toronto Star first reported.
“At least Canada knows where I stand,” Trump later said on Twitter.
Trump notified Congress that he intends to sign the trade pact by the end of November. Text of the deal will be published by around Oct. 1.