Washington D.C. : United States President Donald Trump has said that negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are going to be tough as he met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House.
"We'll see what happens. We have a tough negotiation, and it's something that you will know in the not-too-distant future. But we are going to be discussing NAFTA, and we'll be discussing defense because we have a great -- I mean, these are truly great and original allies, and their mutual defense is very important," Trump said.
Trudeau met Trump in the Oval Office at the start of a new round of talks over NAFTA.
The US President also said that NAFTA talks are going to work out very well for both countries and Mexico as well.
"We have to protect our workers, and, in all fairness, the Prime Minister wants to protect Canada and his people also. So we'll see what happens with NAFTA, but I've been opposed to NAFTA for a long time. In terms of the fairness of NAFTA, I said we'll renegotiate. And I think Justin understands this: If we can't make a deal, it'll be terminated and that will be fine. They're going to do well; we're going to do well, but maybe that won't be necessary. But it has to be fair to both countries," he added.
Trudeau, who is making his second visit to the White House this year, said, "We have an incredibly close relationship -- two countries that are interwoven in our economies, cultures, and in our peoples."
"But we have a good partnership, and there's always ways to improve it -- always issues we need to talk through. And that's why having an ongoing, constructive relationship between the President and the Prime Minister is really important. And I'm glad to be able to meet with you here again today," he added.
Trudeau will visit Mexico on Thursday to hold additional discussions on NAFTA.
The talks between the two leaders come at a time when Trump has repeatedly threatened to terminate NAFTA deal completely.
However, Trump has also suggested for a new alternative if NAFTA renegotiation fail to create an entirely new deal.
NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America, which came into force on January 1, 1994.