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

Town of Ponoka to hand over fire services to county

Council voted unanimously to have the county take over May 1. County meets Thursday morning

Ponoka’s bull rider Zane Lambert takes Red Deer

Lambert kicked off the CPRA 2018 season with two solid rides

Library funding increase request approved by Ponoka County

County agrees to the $60,000 request, up from $45,000 from the previous year

Ponoka town council deemed not liable by judge

Town deemed to be in compliance with borrowing bylaw requirements

PHOTOS: Family Day in Ponoka

Ponoka and area families took in the many fun events on Family Day

WATCH: Ponoka Warriors volleyball host largest ever Family Day tournament

Five divisions, 32 teams participate in 12th annual Family Day tournament

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Ponoka Stampeders out after opening round loss

Two bad Stamps’ starts gives Blackfalds series victory in playoff series

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Most Read