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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Canadian officials have confronted President Trump's NAFTA negotiating team over an off the record remark in which Trump reportedly said he was not making any concessions to Canada, but couldn't say so publicly because it would kill the deal, the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale reports.

Behind the scenes: Trump reportedly told Bloomberg that making such a statement publicly would be "so insulting" that "they’re not going to be able to make a deal... I can’t kill these people." The purported statement was made off the record, but Dale was not party to that agreement.

The White House has not denied the report.

Spokesperson Lindsay Walters told Axios: “The Canadian and American negotiators continue to work on reaching a win-win deal that benefits both countries.”

What to watch: Trump announced a two-way agreement with Mexico on Tuesday, and wants to get Canada on board by the end of the day today in order to stay on track to sign the agreement before Mexico's new leftist government takes office.

  • That's a big hurdle for the Canadians, after having been sidelined in negotiations, given Trump's toxicity north of the border.
  • The U.S. has already backed off nearly all of its most controversial demands. The biggest remaining hurdles seem to be over Canada's protectionist dairy policies, and a system for handling investor disputes.

Go deeper: The trade deal before the trade war.

Go deeper

1 min ago - Podcasts

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines, with an outside advisory committee scheduled to meet next Thursday to review data from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with former FDA commissioner Rob Calif about the EUA process, the science and who should make the final call.

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.