World Bulletin / News Desk
Talks between Canada and the U.S. on a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ended Friday with no deal but will resume next week.
Speaking during a press conference at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland admitted there is still a ways to go in terms of reaching a consensus.
"We're continuing to work very hard and we’re making progress, but we’re not there yet. This is a very complex agreement, and we’re going to continue working at it," she said.
Her comments follow intense negotiations between the two sides ahead of a Friday deadline set by the Trump administration as well as pressure to strike a deal after the U.S. and Mexico reached a preliminary accord on Monday.
"For Canada, the focus is on getting a good deal, and once we have a good deal for Canada, we'll be done," Freeland said in response to questions on the deadline.
Earlier Friday, the Toronto Star newspaper published what it claimed were off-the-record remarks that U.S. President Donald Trump had made the previous day in an interview with Bloomberg News, in which he said he is not making any concessions to Canada.
Responding to a question about the comments, Freeland said "Canada will only sign a deal which is a good deal for Canada”.
"We are confident that a win-win-win deal is possible, and we're always going to stand up for the national interest and Canadian values.”
Regarding the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Canada, Freeland said they are not part of the current talks and are entirely outside the realm of the trade agreement.
"We very much are opposed to these tariffs. They are unjustified and they are illegal. The notion that somehow Canadian steel or aluminum could pose a national security threat to the United States is, frankly, absurd."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued a statement Friday saying his team will meet with Freeland Wednesday to continue the negotiations.Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2018, 09:18