(CN) – The latest round of U.S. trade talks with Canada ended Friday without a deal, but in a statement the U.S. trade representative said the plan is for the talks to resume next week.
“If we don’t make a deal with Canada it’s just fine,” President Donald Trump said during an event in North Carolina Friday afternoon. “We’ll just have to tariff those cars coming in.”
Administration official told reporters in an off-the-record briefing that were a lot of “intense meetings” this week between U.S. and Canadian trade negotiators, but that progress was made.
The news about the failure to strike a deal with Canada came as Trump was notifying Congress in writing of his plans to sign a trade agreement with Mexico to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, setting off a 90-day clock for lawmakers to approve the deal.
The United States and Mexico announced a preliminary bilateral deal on Monday after resolving an issue over auto manufacturing. Canadian officials rejoined the talks the next day.
But Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her nation would only agree to a deal “that is a good deal for Canada.”
And the positions on each side of the negotiating table hardened on Friday after Canadian officials learned of comments Trump had made Thursday during an off-the-record conversation with Bloomberg News. During that conversation the president reportedly said he would not make any compromises in the talks with Canada.
Nevertheless, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Friday, “Our officials are continuing to work toward agreement.”