TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Washington next week to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss the ratification of the new North American trade agreement and China’s detention of two Canadians.
Trudeau’s office said he will visit June 20. Trump and Trudeau are trying to build momentum to pass the new trade deal that also includes Mexico.
Relations have improved since a low last summer when the U.S. president called Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest.” Trump was furious after Trudeau said at a Group of Seven summit that he wouldn’t let Canada be pushed around in trade relations with the U.S.
The new Mexico-U.S.-Canada Agreement, signed in November by the leaders of the three nations, is meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. The pact needs approval from lawmakers in each country. Democrats in Washington now want stronger enforcement of labor standards and they oppose a provision that protects pharmaceutical companies from competition.
Trudeau’s office said Thursday that during his meeting with Trump the prime minister also will bring up plight of two Canadians held in China. Beijing detained ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei.