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U.S. and Canada will keep talking after missing a trade deal deadline

The United States and Canada failed to reach a new free trade agreement by a self-imposed deadline Friday. Instead, President Trump announced he will sign a pact with Mexico in 90 days, and that Canada could still join it. The Canadian foreign minister said she's confident they can get a deal. Judy Woodruff learns more from Yamiche Alcindor.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United States and Canada fail to reach a new free trade agreement by a self-imposed deadline today. Instead, President Trump announced that he will sign a pact with Mexico in 90 days, and that Canada could still join it. The new agreement, if reached, would replace NAFTA.

    It also was reported today that Mr. Trump said in an off-the-record conversation that the U.S. would make no concessions in the Canada negotiations. But he told interviewers afterward that saying it publicly would be so insulting that Canada would balk at any deal.

    The president confirmed the comment during an appearance today in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • President Donald Trump:

    They actually printed mine off the record. They said President Trump said, off the record, and then they go on to this. I said, this is a first. These are very dishonorable people.

    But I said, in the end, it's OK, because at least Canada knows how I feel.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The U.S.-Canada negotiations are set to resume on Wednesday. And the Canadian foreign minister said she's confident that they can get a deal.

    For more on all this, I'm joined by our White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor.

    So, Yamiche, this was supposed to be deadline day, self-imposed. They came up to the brink, but now they're going to keep talking. Why?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    They're going to keep talking because essentially that this is really good economics for both countries.

    Canada depends on NAFTA for a lot of their economic growth, so it would be really hard for Canada to move forward without NAFTA. And the United States, one of their biggest trading partners is Canada, so they also want to continue to try to talk and get a deal done.

    And then President Trump made a promise to voters. He campaigned all across the country talking about NAFTA, saying that he was going to get something better for workers. So he wants to do that. So this extension allows them more time to try to do that.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So how are they going to do this? I mean, there was this deadline, as we said. How do they make this work?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, now, essentially, the Trump administration is saying to Congress, we think that we can at least give you 90 days that we will have an agreement. They are pushing to get this agreement done before the Mexican government changes over.

    There's going to be a new president in November, after November 30. So they want to try to get this done. But the U.S. is saying that they're on solid legal ground, that they think that they can do this with Congress. But the Canadian foreign minister had a press conference today.

    And she wouldn't respond to questions about how President Trump is impacting these talks. That doesn't look good. Even though she said that this is positive and that things are going forward on solid ground, she didn't want to talk about the president of the United States.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And just quickly, Yamiche, speaking of that, I mean, we just quoted with the president had to say. I don't want to say what I believe about Canada. It would be so insulting.

    How is that? Do we know how that's affecting what's going on?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, it's hard to say, because, again, the Canadian foreign minister doesn't want to touch anything that President Trump is saying.

    That said, you have Bloomberg saying, we didn't publish anything that was off the record.

    I talked to a representative from Bloomberg today who had no comment on the president's specific tweet. Both parties definitely want something done on NAFTA. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and a lot of Republican senators have said to voters all across the country that NAFTA is a problem and they want to get something done.

    So we will just have to see whether or not they can make this deal happen. But they told Congress that it's going to be 90 days. The president said that he would go forward with Mexico. They have hinted that they would go forward without Canada.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Up to the precipice. Now it keeps going.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Yes.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Yamiche Alcindor, thank you.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Thanks.

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