Trump says he 'wouldn't mind' replacing NAFTA with bilateral deals

Trump says he 'wouldn't mind' replacing NAFTA with bilateral deals

Trump says he 'wouldn't mind' replacing NAFTA with bilateral deals

Trump said he "loves" both Canada and Mexico but accused them of taking advantage of the United States through unfair trade arrangements.

"First of all the idea that our soldiers who fought and died together on the beaches of World War II, in the mountains of Afghanistan, and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the most hard places in the world... this is insulting to them".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is having trouble with the idea that President Donald Trump considers Canadian interests a threat to the United States.

Those retaliatory measures won't be official until July, but Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said the duties are meant to encourage the U.S.to back down.

"We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs", he said. "I think that we've had a massive effort on tax reform in the United States which has had a incredible impact on the USA economy", Mnuchin said.

Trump's latest move amounts to "blackmail" in the NAFTA renegotiation, but it doesn't kill chances of carving out a deal, says a veteran of Canada's free trade battles. Canada, China and the European Union also announced they will address these actions at the World Trade Organization.

"On trade, this is a G6 plus one", Mr Le Maire said after stepping outside briefly from the talks.

Prime Minister Trudeau has reportedly spoken with steel and aluminum manufacturers about the news tariffs, something he calls "a ridiculous situation".

G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders' summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as "tense and tough".

The 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminium tariffs were imposed this week on Mexico, Canada and the European Union after temporary exemptions expired.

"There was concern that they (the U.S.) are most concerned about China but punishing their friends instead, and it makes it harder for all of the members to work together on issues like China, and that ... the USA needs to fix this", said an official.

"We must find a way to get out of this", German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters following the meeting.

Trudeau also canceled plans to visit Washington to finalize a new NAFTA deal after Vice President Mike Pence demanded that any deal would last just five years. "It's going to hurt U.S.jobs as well, and neither of those things is something that Canada wants to see", Trudeau said. The U.S. sells $2-billion more worth of steel on an annual basis to Canada than it buys from Canadian suppliers.

Canada has responded by imposing dollar-for-dollar tariff "countermeasures" on up to $16.6 billion worth of US imports.

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