Although Trudeau officials were confident Trump would mostly target Mexico as the three nations started to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Washington has slapped duties on Canadian Bombardier airliners and lumber exports in recent months and talked tough on dairy and wine.
Asked during his appearance with Trudeau whether NAFTA was dead, Trump said, "We'll see what happens". Trudeau said he believed the Nafta talks could still end in a "win, win, win". "It has to be fair to both countries".
His primary goal was to protect United States workers, Trump said, noting Trudeau would also seek to protect Canadians.
"It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will", he said.
"The clear focus was that we have to send a message to all the different constituencies about how much of an error it would be to cancel NAFTA, or make a bad NAFTA", Vogel said in an interview with Reuters.
The pomp and circumstance that greeted Trudeau at the airport was followed by a sombre wreath-laying ceremony at a monument commemorating Mexico's efforts to beat back an American invasion in the 1850s - an apt image as both Canada and Mexico now contemplate how to withstand new USA strong-arming efforts over trade.
In his meeting with Trump, Trudeau was expected to remind the president that Canada is the United States' biggest export customer, with largely balanced two-way goods and services trade, and is not the cause of US manufacturing jobs lost under NAFTA, Canadian officials said. Mexico strongly opposes such a move, which would damage its own auto industry.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue, speaking in Mexico City on Tuesday, pledged to fight "like hell" to defend Nafta if Trump tries to pull out. Representatives of the auto industry warned some of the US demands could raise prices for vehicles.
The Chamber and the trade group for Mexico's auto industry already have come out against an anticipated proposal to raise US -specific content. USA negotiators have countered with a proposal that would effectively grant the other countries less access, people familiar with the talks say.
Rules of origin will be discussed by negotiators today, Sunday and Monday, according to an agenda obtained by Bloomberg. Trudeau said he was still optimistic about modernizing the trade deal and the Canadian Dollar has stabilized over the last few sessions, helped by a weaker greenback.
"If the required content to hit the threshold for a NAFTA vehicle is too high, people may say, 'Look, it's just too hard, it's too high, so we'll just ship the vehicles in, '" Magna International Inc.
"These will be met with widespread opposition from Canada and Mexico". The U.S. auto parts industry employs about 870,000 workers.