Ever since Donald Trump took control of the Oval Office, some of America's oldest friends, like France, Canada and Mexico, have been questioned, insulted and threatened at every given chance by the commander-in-chief who has made it clear he'll sanction their businesses if they don't toe his line.
When the POTUS recently got on the world stage at the United Nations General Assembly, he acted no differently.
In fact, during a wide-ranging 80-minute press conference, Trump made it blatantly clear the U.S.’ longtime ally, Canada, is still in his doghouse.
While talking to the reporters in New York, the president blasted Canada over the slow pace of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks, claiming he was so upset with how things were going. He also said he had rejected Trudeau’s request for a one-on-one meeting.
"His tariffs are too high, and he doesn't seem to want to move, and I've told him 'forget about it,'" Trump told reporters.
"We're very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiation style of Canada — we don't like their representative very much," he added, in an apparent reference to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who has been leading the charge to have a new deal in place between the two countries.
Apart from expressing his unhappiness with the United States’ neighbor to the North, the POTUS also threatened to impose tariffs on cars crossing the border if a deal isn't reached soon.
"Frankly, we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada,'' said Trump. “That's the motherlode, that's the big one.''
The remarks, which might be Trump’s most direct hit against Trudeau since the G7 summit this summer, cast further doubt on the future of the three-nation NAFTA agreement, the framework for more than a trillion dollars in annual trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico.
However, as it turns out, Trump, who has known to make dubious claims about his interactions with Canada, was wrong about this particular situation too.
"No meeting was requested. We don't have any comment beyond that," said the Canadian prime minister’s office, disputing Trump’s assertions about getting a request for a meet-up.
However, if their body language at a U.N. luncheon is any hint, a moment captured on camera conveyed how things are definitely not OK between the two leaders.
We found the video of Justin Trudeau getting ignored by Donald Trump at today's UN Secretary General's luncheon - three camera angles of Justin tapping Trump on the shoulder but it only lasts a split second around the 25 sec mark then repeated around the 46 sec mark #NAFTA#UNGApic.twitter.com/gwN8SghY27— JohnToryWatch (@JohnToryWatch) September 25, 2018
Trump and Trudeau both mingled near each other at the luncheon, but came nowhere close to having a warm encounter.
While the POTUS sat down for lunch, Trudeau approached him and stood behind him without the president appearing to acknowledge him.
The Canadian prime minister tapped Trump on the shoulder and the men shook hands in a brief exchange.
However, what’s noteworthy, the commander-in-chief didn’t stand up for Trudeau.
Later, the U.S.’ another NAFTA partner, Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto, came by and this time the president stood to greet him. Trump was equally cordial to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
In fact, the commander-in-chief spoke to both the leaders for longer than he did Trudeau.
Where media called the encounter a sign of “simmering tensions” and “lingering resentment,” Trudeau played it down during a press conference this week.
“I was thanking the president of South Africa for his extraordinary speech on Nelson Mandela and I moved around the table to say hello to the prime minister of Italy, and then shook hands with President Trump while he was re-reading his notes for his speech [for] the toast he was about to give. There are all sorts of opportunities for me to speak to President Trump and that was not the time” said Trudeau.
He added that he does not think “there is anything to read into it.”
As of yet, the Canadian government has sought to paint the NAFTA negotiations in a positive light. Trudeau echoed the similar sentiments during the U.N. conference.
"We will keep working as long as it takes to get to the right deal for Canada," he said.
However, it appears, the commander-in-chief is losing patience very fast.
"Canada has treated us very badly. They have treated our farmers in Wisconsin and New York state, and a lot of other states very badly," said Trump during the bizarre solo conference, citing the dairy tariffs of 300 percent imposed by Canada's restricted supply management system.
"Canada has a long way to go. I must be honest with you, we are not getting along with their negotiators. We think their negotiators have taken advantage of our country for a long time," he said.
The U.S. made a deal with Mexico in August to replace the original NAFTA agreement and the stakeholders on both sides of the border insisted the U.S. should include Canada too.
However, despite deadlines imposed by the officials of the Trump administration, Canada doesn’t appear to be succumbing to any sort of pressure and by the looks of it, the talks between the two countries are probably just going to get more hostile.
Banner / Thumbnail : Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images