GOP's Kevin Brady: Canada needs to 'step it up' — the US is not going to change trade deadline

  • GOP Rep. Kevin Brady calls out Canada, saying Ottawa will have to "step up it up" because Washington will not move its deadline for a new trade deal.
  • But Brady also says he is optimistic Canada and the United States can reach a new trade agreement before the U.S.-imposed deadline of Oct. 1.

GOP Rep. Kevin Brady called out Canada on Wednesday, saying Ottawa will have to "step up it up" because Washington will not move its deadline for a new trade deal.

The House Ways and Means Committee chairman said he's optimistic Canada and the U.S. can reach a new agreement before the U.S.-imposed deadline of Oct. 1.

Last month, President Donald Trump announced a new U.S.-Mexico free trade pact.

Trump would be "totally happy" if Canada were to get on board and make the deal trilateral, like the one it's replacing, the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Tuesday.

The president wants the text of any agreement that includes Canada by that deadline, so outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto can sign it before he leaves office.

"They're in the end zone," the Texas Republican said Wednesday on "Squawk Box," just hours before the two nations were set to resume negotiations.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to hold fresh talks on NAFTA with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington.

However, Canadian officials have said they won't be rushed, given the size of the obstacles.

Brady said it's not unusual for the president to pick a fight with Canada, saying the trade partner even "dragged its feet" during the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations under the Obama administration.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the TPP.