WASHINGTON — Canada’s foreign minister cut short a trip to Europe and rushed to Washington on Tuesday as President Trump’s top trade advisers reiterated that the United States is prepared to leave Canada out of a revised North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico.
Touting the agreement with Mexico as a major win, Trump administration officials attempted to ratchet up the pressure on Canada, emphasizing the need to get a deal completed by the end of the week.
“Well, this deal is pretty well put together with Mexico. So the president, as he’s indicated, is fully prepared to go ahead with or without Canada,” Wilbur Ross, the Commerce secretary, said on Fox Business. “We hope that Canada will come in.”
He added: “If not, they will then have to be treated as a real outsider.”
Those comments are putting pressure on Canada to decide whether it would join the pact negotiated by its North American neighbors or allow itself to be cast out of a three-country agreement that has endured for nearly a quarter of a century.
Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian foreign minister, was expected to meet with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, on Tuesday afternoon.
“We will only sign a new Nafta that is good for Canada and good for the middle class. Canada’s signature is required,” Adam Austen, a spokesman for Ms. Freeland, said on Monday.
Mr. Ross said it was imperative to move quickly because of the lengthy process involved in getting a deal approved by Congress. The United States and Mexico have expressed hopes that they will have the agreement fully in place before the next Mexican administration takes office later this year. The Commerce secretary said that he was confident that Canada would ultimately join the deal because the Canadian economy “can’t survive very well” without the United States.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, also said that the United States was prepared to move ahead without Canada, but suggested in an interview with CNBC that the two countries would likely strike a separate bilateral deal in that event.
“The U.S. market and the Canadian markets are very intertwined,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “It’s important for them to get this deal and it’s important for us to get this deal.”
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The biggest changes to the trade agreement between the United States and Mexico would impact the automobile industry. Car manufacturers would be required to produce at least 75 percent of an automobile’s value in North America under the revised agreement, up from 62.5 percent, to qualify for Nafta’s zero tariffs. They must also utilize more local steel, aluminum and auto parts, and have 40 to 45 percent of the car made by workers earning at least $16 an hour, a wage increase that represents a victory for labor unions that have long criticized Nafta.
Some industry groups and trade analysts have warned that these changes would ultimately raise prices on American cars, hurting buyers and putting financial strain on United States automakers who would struggle to compete with imports from other foreign countries. That could, in turn, give United States automakers more of an incentive to shift production outside of the country.
The United States and Canada are expected to engage in tense negotiations over the status of dairy tariffs. The preliminary deal with Mexico also did not address the steel and aluminum tariffs that the United States has imposed, and Canada is likely to press for these to be removed quickly.
It remains unclear whether the United States can press ahead with a deal with just Mexico without terminating Nafta and restarting the process of notifying Congress about the administration’s intentions. Some Republicans were skeptical about shutting Canada out and the terms that were being brokered.
“I’d prefer to see an agreement among the three of us,” Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, said on Monday. “If we can’t do that, we’ll see.”
Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and frequent critic of Mr. Trump, said it appeared that the White House was making a deal that could hurt consumers.
“There is reason to worry that this might be a step backward from Nafta for American families — especially on fundamental issues of presumed expiration of the deal, and empowering government bureaucrats rather than markets to determine the components in cars and other goods,” Mr. Sasse said.
Mr. Trump mocked lawmakers who doubted his deal-making on Tuesday, scolding them for failing to understand that existing agreements were bad for the United States economy.