But that would not necessarily mean Canada would be left behind for good: Lighthizer said that negotiations with Canada would continue in that case. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who spoke at the sidelines of the event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in NY, had also sent mixed signals.
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If a three-way deal isn’t reached soon, the US will break up the world’s largest free-trade zone and instead pursue separate bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico, Mr. Lighthizer during the rare public appearance.
Lighthizer said that there "is still a fair amount of distance between" the US and Canada.
On the other hand, should Canada decide to join the agreement, the Canadian dollar could go significantly stronger.
The Trump administration and the Mexican government want the agreement signed before the Mexican president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, takes office in December.
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