Canada's top trade negotiator Chrystia Freeland said Friday that the country's delegation and American officials had not reached a deal on a new North American Free Trade Agreement heading into Labor Day weekend.
Late Friday afternoon, the Canadian minister of Foreign Affairs said that the two parties will continue to work towards a deal, maintaining that "we're not there yet" on an agreement.
"We know that a win-win-win agreement is within reach," Freeland told reporters. "With goodwill and flexibility on all sides, I know we can get there."
The latest round of talks paused at least temporarily Friday ahead of Freeland's news conference. Though reports suggested the negotiations stopped as the parties passed the Trump administration's Friday target with no agreement, an administration official disputed that and said they would continue.
Freeland's comments came after a Toronto Star report that Trump privately said he would not make any compromises in trade talks with Canada. In remarks to Bloomberg News reporters that the president wanted to be off the record, Trump said that he would not publicly state his positions because "it's going to be so insulting they're not going to be able to make a deal," according to the Star report.
Trump later confirmed his comments reported in the Toronto Star, saying "At least Canada knows where I stand!"
@realDonaldTrump: 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!
During the news conference, Freeland declined to comment on specific sticking points between the U.S. and Canada. She also did not comment on Trump's remarks and negotiating tactics, saying her negotiating counterpart is U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
The Trump administration originally gave Canada a Friday deadline to hash out its differences with the U.S. and join a preliminary, new trade agreement struck by the U.S. and Mexico earlier in the week. In the morning, Freeland stressed that Canada would not strike a deal if the country is not satisfied with it.
"We're looking for a good deal, not just any deal. We will only agree to a deal that is a good deal for Canada. We're not there yet," she told reporters.