Trump says he rejected meeting with Justin Trudeau
'We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada,' U.S. president says
U.S. President Donald Trump said he rejected a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over Canada's dairy tariffs, negotiating style on NAFTA and because his people do not like Canada's "representative."
Trump made the remarks during a news conference in New York on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, when he was asked if he had, in fact, snubbed Trudeau.
"Yeah I did," Trump said, adding it was "because his tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I've told him forget about it and frankly we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada. That's the mother lode, that's the big one."
However, the Prime Minister's Office said in an email to CBC News that "no meeting was requested," and that it had no comment beyond that.
Trump went on to criticize Canadian officials and how they have negotiated during the recent NAFTA talks.
"We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada. We don't like their representative very much," Trump added.
Trump did not say which representative he meant.
During the NAFTA negotiations U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has acted as the lead official for the U.S. while Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has filled that role for Canada.
A senior Canadian official told CBC News the Trump comments should be seen in the context of the continuing negotiations.
While Trudeau and Trump did not have a formal or even informal meeting at the UN, the pair did shake hands briefly during a luncheon for world leaders.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinTrudeau</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realDonaldTrump</a> didn't have a meeting scheduled at the UN, but they did see each other at a luncheon for world leaders. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/lfu1Evy3S5">pic.twitter.com/lfu1Evy3S5</a>—@PnPCBC