Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks with reporters following a meeting with business leaders at the World Economic Forum Wednesday, January 24, 2018 in Davos, Switzerland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Trudeau applying pressure on U.S. in NAFTA talks

PM Trudeau applying pressure on U.S. in NAFTA talks, says Wilbur Ross

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday that he thinks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his speech at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday to apply pressure on the United States in the NAFTA renegotiation.

Trudeau said Canada and the 10 remaining members of the TPP had revised their trade pact in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal and was “working very hard” to convince President Donald Trump about the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Ross, who arrived at the WEF in Davos Wednesday, told reporters Trudeau’s speech was designed “to put a little pressure on the U.S. in the NAFTA talks.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added that the Trump administration believes in “bilateral trading agreements” but wants to make sure “U.S. opportunities are equal to other people’s opportunities in the U.S.”

Trudeau’s announcement about the new TPP came as the NAFTA partners gathered in Montreal for a week of negotiations.

There are concerns that the efforts in Montreal could be impacted by the new TPP, but the chief negotiators for Canada and Mexico brushed aside that notion on Tuesday.

“It’s pretty much separate tracks,” Canada’s lead negotiator Steve Verheul told The Canadian Press in Montreal.

NAFTA was expected to be the prime topic when Trudeau participates in a roundtable discussion later Wednesday with several U.S. business leaders in Davos.

The session was to involve several heavy hitters in U.S. business, including the CEOs of Dow Chemical, UPS, Cargill, Qualcomm Inc., Tyson Foods and the New York Stock Exchange.

Trudeau was also scheduled to hold bilateral business meetings Wednesday in addition to the roundtable with the heads of Royal Dutch Shell, Microsoft and Ericsson. He also has one bilateral meeting with a political leader — Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

Before leave Switzerland on Thursday, Trudeau is scheduled to attend a public session on the empowerment of girls and women and be joined by Pakistani activist and honorary Canadian citizen Malala Yousafzai.

Trudeau did meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the WEF Wednesday, but the Canadian media travelling with the PM did not receive a customary notification in advance.

The Prime Minister’s Office later apologized for issuing a late notice and promised to provide a summary of what it called a “last-minute pull-aside” meeting between the two men.

The Trudeau-Netanyahu chat comes weeks after the Canadian government chose to abstain from voting on a resolution condemning U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the American embassy.

Trump is scheduled to speak in Davos on Friday after Trudeau returns home.

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Four-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Full vessels create long waits on Friday afternoon

A year in tent city: Timeline of Camp Namegans

Since September 2017, Victoria’s homeless camp has set up in more than 20 locations

Tent city campers prepare to leave Uplands Park

Vehicle access remains restricted at Cattle Point

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Most Read