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

Support and partnership strengthens local businesses: Mermaid Ball

The annual Mermaid Ball and Business Awards was held on Oct. 12

Lakers triumph over Rebels

The H.J. Cody Lakers won against the Rocky Mountain House Rebels, Oct. 12

Darrell Paulovich remembered after accident claims his life

A tragic accident claimed the life of a rodeo advocate over the weekend

Sylvan Lake’s first Habitat for Humanity project breaks ground

The ground breaking ceremony was held Thursday morning at the build site.

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Theft of $140,000 in machinery investigated in County of Wetaskiwin

Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate theft of pipe fusion equipment

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Most Read