Trump responds to leak of off-the-record comments in Bloomberg News interview

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Reuters/Carlos Barria Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) is greeted by U.S. President Donald Trump prior to holding talks at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017.

Mr. Trump negotiated a trade deal with Mexico earlier this week, but has not made an agreement with Canada.

But the hit predicted to the wallets of Canadian consumers is not just a product of the NAFTA negotiations, said Ciuriak, who once worked as deputy chief economist at Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Just one day after tumultuous talks between the US and Canada ended without any signs of agreement on a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Trump suggested in a tweet that he would forge ahead on a trade deal without Canada.

Talks continued late into the night again between Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, including one meeting late Thursday that lasted only a few minutes.

Asked whether the United States was negotiating in good faith, Freeland skirted the question, saying Lighthizer is working "very hard" as talks continue.

Trump told Bloomberg News in off-the-record comments that wound up in The Toronto Star that he did not want to say publicly that he was refusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's offers because it would be "so insulting" that a deal would be put on hold.

Dairy: Trump has long complained about Canada's protection for its dairy industry, which restricts the ability of United States farmers to enter the market.

Created in 1992, NAFTA created a free trade policy between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

United States trade deal with Mexico smashes NAFTA & puts squeeze on Canada
Trump's announcement includes plans to wrap up negotiations between the U.S., Canada and Mexico by Saturday at the latest. The pact also requires greater use of United States and Mexican steel, aluminum, glass and plastics.

"I love Canada, but they've taken advantage of our Country for many years!" tweeted the president.

Today was the deadline for Canada and the U.S. to reach a NAFTA agreement.

Optimism over progress to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), especially after the US-Mexico bilateral trade pact, kept benefitting the Canadian Dollar and dragged the pair to a fresh 2-1/2 month low on Tuesday.

Trump reportedly said Canada is "working their ass off", the Star reported. Trump on Saturday, in his Twitter posts, reprised his attacks that NAFTA has resulted in a loss of and business. Rather than doing that and sliding quietly into a two-way deal with America by giving them some increased access to our dairy market, Canada allowed its options to run out. And his team said it preferred bi-lateral, or two-way, deals with each of Canada and Mexico.

"Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED", Trump wrote.

Speaking to Bloomberg of the record, he'd said a deal was possible "totally on our terms" and that he'd threatened Trudeau's government in the talks with tariffs on Canadian cars. It was unclear whether the two countries had agreed a deal. "Canada's going to make a deal at some point", the president told Bloomberg. The U.S. -Canadian talks had been ongoing since then.

Trump argues that Canada's hefty dairy tariffs are hurting USA farmers, an important political base for his Republican party.

But it will make it easier for Amazon and other online platforms to offer an array of products to Mexican consumers, and could see sales climb for USA specialty goods priced under US$100, said Carlos Hermosillo, retail analyst with Mexican brokerage Actinver.

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