NAFTA progress doesn’t stop Freeland from heading to Europe on diplomatic trip

Chrystia Freeland said it’s important for Canada to continue to do its work around the world

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be travelling to Europe next week on a diplomatic mission that’s raising questions about whether Canada expects to return to the bargaining table soon for the three-country NAFTA talks.

Freeland said Friday it’s important for Canada to continue to do its work around the world — even with signs of progress in the bilateral NAFTA negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Europe is a very important one that I’ve been looking forward to,” she said, adding she will be meeting with the foreign ministers of Germany and France, as well as addressing the annual meeting of Ukraine’s ambassadors to show Canada’s support for its sovereignty and opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“Canada has key allies around the world given CETA, our trade agreement with the EU.”

There’s optimism that the U.S. and Mexico are close to sorting out their one-on-one sticking points, which would open the door for Canada to rejoin the negotiations.

Freeland was asked whether her European trip meant she didn’t expect a breakthrough next week in the NAFTA talks. She replied by saying Canada will return to the NAFTA table for trilateral talks once the American and Mexican governments resolve their bilateral issues — particularly their differences on automotive rules of origin.

“I do want to underscore that I’ve been hearing optimism from those countries about the progress they’re making and Canada is very sympathetic to the fact that these issues are very complicated,” she told reporters in Richmond, B.C.

“We want a good deal, not just any deal.”

Freeland didn’t directly say whether she would cut her European trip short if Canada is invited back to the table.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alberta’s 47 legislature newbies meet under the dome for orientation day

Most new members are with the United Conservatives, who won a majority government

OPINION: Jason Kenney won by portraying himself as the Guardian of Alberta

How did Kenney do it? He never considered himself an opposition leader and didn’t pretend to be one.

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Calgary woman killed in B.C. highway crash

Crash closed highway for hours

Assessment says Alberta woman facing animal abuse charges fit to stand trial

April Dawn Irving, 59, is charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Provinces, Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Digestive issues? You may have SIBO

Gut health info session

Oil and gas company confirms death of one of its employees in Yoho avalanche

Dana Coffield died when he was skiing in the Rocky Mountains

Cenovus CEO estimates production curtailments will deliver billions to taxpayers

The curtailment program started Jan. 1 was designed to keep 325,000 barrels per day off the market

Most Read