President Trump moved forward with plans to submit a standalone trade agreement with Mexico to Congress on Friday after leaked comments, in which he said he would not compromise with Canada, scuttled a three-way deal.
Trump said in a Bloomberg interview: "Canada's going to make a deal at some point". "Actually fixing NAFTA requires reaching a trade agreement with both Mexico and Canada that improves the wages, the working conditions and the well-being of America's workers and farmers", Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said.
Trilateral talks were already underway at the technical level and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo was expected to soon rejoin talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, possibly later on Thursday, people familiar with the process said. Under U.S. law, Trump must wait 90 days before signing the pact.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has endured a rocky relationship with Trump, fended off a question about the American president's comments at a news conference Friday.
Perhaps by coincidence or maybe out of necessity, the United States trade representative broke his silence for the first time since Tuesday, saying Canada has not compromised on a key sticking point.
As such, Mexico and the United States' agreement on geographical indicators could complicate things for Canada, trade experts say.
Another person familiar with talks said preserving Chapter 19 remains very important to Canada.
A fact sheet on the U.S. -Mexico deal included a provision that would give big drug makers 10 years of protection for biologic drugs, and expand the list of drugs covered by those protections.
Throughout the day Friday, it became increasingly clear that Canada and the USA would be unable to reach an agreement.
If Trump truly intends to force Canada into a trade deal that serves only his interests, Canda's global reputation will also be tarnished. "I love Canada, but they've taken advantage of our country for many years", Trump said during a speech in North Carolina.
Tense trade talks between the US and Canada broke off Friday, missing a deadline set by the Trump administration to agree to an overhaul of North American Free Trade Agreement.
Some U.S. lawmakers insist the administration only had authority to negotiate a deal with both Mexico and Canada, and not a bilateral one. Lighthizer said on Monday Mexico had agreed to cut the mechanism.
The two countries had held a series of meetings over four days to try to hammer out their differences on a new North American Free Trade Agreement.
But challenges remain. The United States wants to eliminate Chapter 19, a dispute-resolution mechanism that has hindered it from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.
In August, Trump threatened Canada with auto tariffs if the USA and Canada can't forge a deal.
Foreign leaders "keep underestimating Trump on trade", said Dan DiMicco, a former steel executive and trade adviser to Trump who was with the president Friday in Charlotte.