Canada and the United States unable to reach NAFTA agreement

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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.

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. He announced Monday that he has secured a tentative deal with Mexico and said "we'll see" if Canada can be part of the new agreement.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Friday afternoon that the US and Canada will continue to work toward a deal. Congress could dismiss the bilateral U.S. -Mexico deal as not good enough.

But The Toronto Star reports that it obtained comments from an off-the-record portion of an Oval Office interview between Trump and Bloomberg News.

The report clarified that while Bloomberg News had entered into an off-the-record agreement with Mr. Trump, the Toronto Star was not bound to any such agreement. The U.S. wants it out of the deal, but Canada says it must be included.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was scheduled to speak to the media later Friday afternoon. That deal was struck between three countries - Canada, the USA and Mexico - and removed many barriers to trade and investment among the three countries.

"We continue to work very hard and we are making progress".

Few foresaw how Canada's dairy industry would become Trump's poster child proving that NAFTA is "the worst deal ever", as the president likes to call it.

Later, at an appearance in North Carolina, Trump railed against the disclosure of his private comments but again appeared to confirm them.

"It's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal", said Trump, who is supposedly renowned for his ability to, well, make deals.

"There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal".

Mr Trump has threatened to levy tariffs on vehicle parts exported from Canada to the United States if a deal is not reached.

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

Rozental, Mexico's former deputy foreign minister, told CBC he regretted his country's rush to conclude a deal without Canada.

Top NAFTA negotiators from Canada and the United States increased the pace of their negotiations Thursday to resolve final differences to meet a Friday deadline, with their Mexican counterpart on standby to rejoin the talks soon.

Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said it's crucial for Canada to ensure Chapter 19 stays.

"And as you know, we are working-unrelated to this (U.S. -Mexico trade deal)-we're working very much with other countries". "Canada's going to make a deal at some point", the president told Bloomberg.

Issues that have led to discord between the neighbouring countries include Canada's dairy trade rules, dispute-handling mechanisms and patent protections for medicines. Freeland, on the other hand, said that Canada has offered concessions on dairy.

The U.S. president has repeatedly criticized Canada's "unfair treatment" of American dairy farmers - even though the United States has a surplus in dairy trade with Canada.

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