President Donald Trump, in a Friday afternoon tweet, acknowledged that he issued an off-the-record comment to Bloomberg that indicated that he wasn’t relinquishing any ground to Canada in delicate discussions between the North American trade partners.
Via Twitter Trump said: “Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!”
Wow, I made OFF THE RECORD COMMENTS to Bloomberg concerning Canada, and this powerful understanding was BLATANTLY VIOLATED. Oh well, just more dishonest reporting. I am used to it. At least Canada knows where I stand!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2018
Trump’s comments are an apparent response to a report by the Toronto Star that published what it described as “off-the-record” remarks that the president made to Bloomberg News during a lengthy, interview on Thursday. According to the Canadian publication, which said it obtained Trump’s comments, the president said he wasn’t making any compromises in trade discussions and offered that he wouldn’t make that stance public because “it’s going to be so insulting they’re not going to be able to make a deal.”
In the media world, “off the record” comments aren’t intended for public dissemination.
Trade talks have been at the heart of concerns for market participants and were weighing on Wall Street in Friday trade. During the Bloomberg interview, Trump also said that he was planning to move ahead with tariffs on Chinese imports.
On Friday, U.S. and Canadian officials appeared doubtful about their ability to cut a trade deal, which had appeared more likely before the Star article was published. On Monday, the U.S. announced a tentative bilateral trade deal with Mexico. But that agreement may not pass congressional muster without the inclusion of Canada, a key member of the North American Trade Agreement that Trump intends to reshape.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
and S&P 500 index
were both trading lower Friday afternoon, while the Nasdaq Composite Index
was getting a lift from a rally in shares of technology giant Apple Inc.
According to a Reuters report, trade talks between Canada and the U.S. concluded late-afternoon Friday and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is planning a news conference for 4:30 p.m. Eastern, after the close of regular stock-market trade.
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