After the talks ended Friday, Trump sent an official notification to Congress that he intends to enter into a trade agreement with Mexico — “and with Canada if it is willing, in a timely manner, to meet the high standards for free, fair and reciprocal trade contained therein.”
Trade experts said Friday was not a deadline of any real significance to Canada, since the notification can be amended any time in September to make clear that Canada is part of the deal.
The notification is intended to immediately start the mandatory 90-day countdown before an agreement can be formally signed. The U.S. wanted to trigger the countdown soon enough so that the deal could be signed by outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who will be succeeded by left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the beginning of December.
At an event in Charlotte, Trump said, as he did on Twitter, that he was not unhappy that the Star published the remarks he had made “off the record” to Bloomberg News in an interview on Thursday.
Trump said in the Bloomberg interview that he was not compromising with Canada at all, but that he could not say this publicly because it would be “so insulting” that the Canadian government would not be able to agree to a deal. He also said any deal with Canada would be “totally on our terms.”