- Mexico’s president to meet Trump on Wednesday
- Canada PM had spoken of concern about US tariffs on metals
Justin Trudeau has declined an invitation meeting with Trump in Washington
The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has declined a call for participation to go to the White House in the week to celebrate a replacement North American trade deal, amid worsening coronavirus figures within the US and lingering tensions with Donald Trump.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is thanks to meet Trump in Washington on Wednesday, and had urged Trudeau to attend the meeting.
But during a statement on Monday, Trudeau’s office said: “We wish the us and Mexico well at Wednesday’s meeting. While there have been recent discussions about the possible participation of Canada, the prime minister are going to be in Ottawa in the week for scheduled cabinet meetings and therefore the long-planned sitting of parliament.”
Last week, however, the prime minister had cited threats of latest aluminum and steel tariffs as a possible think about his decision.
“We’re obviously concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminum and steel that the Americans have floated recently,” Trudeau told reporters.
American officials cited national security concerns once they imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico during negotiations for the North American trade pact last year, which came into effect on 1 July. The tariffs – long a source of frustration for Canadian negotiators – were seen as a repudiation of the historically close relationship between the 2 countries.
Had he accepted the invitation, the visit would have marked the primary meeting between the 2 leaders since fresh details of Trump’s dislike of Trudeau emerged during a new book by the previous US national security adviser, John Bolton.
In one instance, after Trudeau expressed frustration over US tariffs, Trump allegedly told aides to “attack” the prime minister.
“Trump’s direction [to senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow] was clear: just follow Trudeau. Don’t knock the others. Trudeau’s a ‘behind-your-back guy,’” Bolton writes within the Room Where It Happened.
Soon after, the White House aide Peter Navarro went on TV and said there was a “special place in hell” for Trudeau due to the way he treated Trump.
In addition to a politically fractious relationship with the president, Trudeau had cited concerns over the “health situation and therefore the coronavirus reality that’s still hitting all three of our countries” as another think about his decision.
With the outbreak worsening within the US, quite 80% of Canadians say the shared border, which temporarily closed March, should remain off limits for travellers, consistent with a replacement poll from Nanos Research/The Globe and Mail.
The US recorded quite 52,000 new cases of the virus on Sunday, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as officials attempt to blunt large viral outbreaks within the southern and western regions of the country. There are an estimated 2.9m recorded cases, with quite 1.5m active cases.
Canada, meanwhile, reported 226 new coronavirus cases and nearly 28,000 active cases on Sunday – with health officials cautiously expressing optimism that the country was past its peak.
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