Trump Threatens Tariffs on Canadian-Made Cars

Chrystia Freeland NAFTA

"Will tax cars if we can't make a deal!" the president continued, likely referencing the trade spat between Canada and the USA that resulted in new tariffs being placed on American imports to the Great White North in July. "And then the idea will be can we get a big trade deal prior to [Donald Trump's] next election" in 2020, Farley said.

He says any deal with Mexico must take care of American autoworkers and farmers, but is praising the new president of Mexico, calling him "an absolute gentleman".

The U.S. -Mexico talks for a reworked North American Free Trade Agreement resumed three weeks ago, without Canada, after negotiations involving all three members of the $1.2 trillion trade bloc stalled in May.

President Donald Trump says a trade deal with Mexico is "coming along nicely". "We'll keep standing up for Canadian interests as we work toward a modernized trilateral NAFTA agreement".

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The automotive officials said that Mexico had sought reassurances that new content rules would not cause losses of existing facilities or jobs in the sector and that a NAFTA deal would make Mexico immune to any automotive tariff Trump imposes on national security grounds.

Earlier Friday, a source familiar with Ottawa's NAFTA effort said Canadian negotiators would not be returning to the bargaining table in Washington until the US and Mexico find common ground on their outstanding issues, especially the complex sticking points around the auto sector.

At Trump's direction, the Commerce Department in May launched a probe into whether imports of cars, trucks and auto parts pose a national security risk, invoking the same 1962 trade law used to justify broad tariffs on steel and aluminum - including those imposed on Canada and Mexico.

USA and Mexican officials will continue to work on bilateral issues before their Canadian counterparts rejoin the discussions on modernizing the 24-year-old trade deal, Guajardo said Friday. On his way out of the meeting, reports said Guajardo indicated the two sides have made progress and will meet again next week to continue their talks for a fourth straight week.

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However, he acknowledged: "We still have a lot of work to do".

"The next obvious question is, do we have a firm date of Canada physically going to join the talks?"

MacNaughton said in an interview last week that predictions NAFTA can be settled by the end of August are "aspirational".

MacNaughton has listed some of those stubborn areas.

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