President Trump unloaded on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week; slamming the "meek and mild" leader after he publicly criticized Trump's decision to slap hefty tariffs on his nation's exports.
"Let me correct a mistake I made", White House economic advisor Peter Navarro was quoted as saying at a Washington event organized by The Wall Street Journal. "I own that. That was my mistake, my words".
Asked if he was apologising for the comments, Navarro said: "Yeah, absolutely".
The Prime Minister's Office did release a statement late Saturday, following Trump's tweets that said: "We are focused on everything we accomplished here at the G7 summit".
Trump's comments after a historic summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were the president's most extensive on the matter since he tweeted that Trudeau was "very dishonest and weak" and raised the prospect of tariffs against auto imports, a move that would imperil the Canadian economy.
Trudeau said after the G-7 meeting that the aluminum and steel tariffs imposed by the USA on Canada on national security grounds were insulting and that "Canadians are polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around".
Earlier on Tuesday at the Washington conference, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said the USA and Canada need to "take a deep breath".
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The admission was a rare act of contrition from the Trump White House, where public apologies are few.
Trump says he watched that news conference on his way to Singapore, and was upset because he thought he and Trudeau had had a positive meeting in Charlevoix.
"It's very unfair to our farmers, and it's very unfair to the people of our country", he said.
"We are convinced that a modernisation is perfectly possible, we are convinced that common sense will triumph", she said.
The NAFTA talks have stalled since Trump last month imposed 25 per cent tariffs on steel from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminum.
"From the beginning we have said that our approach would be to work for the best possible outcome but to always be prepared for the worst, to have backup plans", she said.
"I think it's a very fair question", Trump said.
Trump's extraordinary outburst in recent days appeared aimed at striking a chord with voters who support his "America First" agenda. "We're the closest partners in the world, and you don't want to see a dispute over one particular issue poison everything".