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

Project provides barrier to suicides at hospital parkade

VIHA budgets $650,000 for work at Royal Jubilee Hospital parkade

Pandora supervised consumption site has busy first month

Site whose aim is to save lives takes on a new client-driven name: The Harbour

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Pedestrian struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Greater Victoria prices continue to rise as market shows signs of cooling

A survey shows the aggregate price of a home in Victoria increased… Continue reading

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Most Read