U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday railed against Mexico and Canada’s efforts in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying both of the United States’ neighbors had been very difficult.
“NAFTA is very difficult. Mexico has been very difficult to deal with. Canada has been very difficult to deal with … They have been very difficult to deal with, they have been very spoiled. What they asked for is not fair,” said Trump to reporters at the WHite House.
“But I will tell you that in the end we win,” Trump said. “Our autoworkers are going to be extremely happy.”
Following Trump’s comments, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she’s confident “that a mutually beneficial win-win-win outcome for all three countries is possible.”
Freeland has been on the front lines of the trade battle, attending multiple rounds of talks over the last several months.
“Let me be very clear, first and foremost with Canadians that the government of Canada, the prime minister and I personally will always be absolutely resolute in defence of the Canadian national interest all the time but particularly during these negotiations,” Freeland said.
WATCH: Singh calls on government to stand up to ‘bully’ Donald Trump on NAFTA
Canada can’t stray from its priorities in the face of Trump’s disparaging comments, said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
“His tactics so far in dealing with any country and in particular with Canada has been to use bullying tactics, and we’ve got to stand up to a bully,” said Singh.
WATCH: Past video coverage of NAFTA negotiations
Earlier Wednesday, Trump, who has repeatedly pledged to revive American manufacturing, said that “big news” was coming that would be welcomed by U.S. auto workers but he gave no details.
Auto trade has been a big sticking point in talks between the United States, Mexico and Canada as they try to update NAFTA.
The United States and Mexico have deadlocked over U.S. demands for wage increases in the auto sector and for a boost in the North American content in cars. Last week, the top U.S. trade official said the three countries were “nowhere close to a deal.”
— Reporting by James Oliphant and Lisa Lambert Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Mohammad Zargham. With files from Global News.