Canada's Trudeau cancels visit with US and Mexican leaders





Ottawa - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not attend a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador planned for Wednesday and Thursday, his office said on Monday.



The meeting was intended to mark the launch of the new North American trade deal, the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (UMSCA), which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Trudeau would instead be attending cabinet and parliamentary sessions in Ottawa, local media reported.
Before his cancellation, the prime minister on Friday voiced concerns regarding the meeting.
"We're obviously concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminium and steel that the Americans have floated recently," Trudeau said.
"We're also concerned about the health situation and the coronavirus reality that is still hitting all three of our countries," he added.
To control the spread of the virus, Canada recently extended border closures with the US for the third time, until at least July 21.
The USMCA was a major early win for Trump on trade, as he sought to replace NAFTA, which he routinely referred to as the worst trade deal the US ever made.
The new trade agreement updates key parts of NAFTA for the digital era, while also imposing improved labour conditions and reforming sectors like auto manufacturing and dairy.
The new deal is far from a total overhaul of NAFTA, as some industries had feared Trump was initially seeking.

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Tuesday, July 7th 2020
(dpa)
           


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