Pence in Canada as he looks to build momentum on trade deal
Pence in Canada as he looks to build momentum on trade deal
Justin Trudeau to Address 'Backsliding of Women's Rights' With Mike Pence
31 May, 2019, 04:28
Vice President Mike Pence visited Ottawa, Canada to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss trade. According to the vice president, trade between the USA and Canada produced more than $714 billion in goods and services just a year ago.
"While the Canadians rush to approve this deal, Congressional Democrats remain committed to making key changes to the core of the agreement that will include strong labour and environmental standards and enforcement and remove the monopoly rights for Big Pharma", said Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
"I want to assure the people of Canada the prime minister drove a hard bargain as did our president", Pence told reporters on Thursday. Pence also said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be on Capitol Hill next week to work on implementation legislation for the treaty.
Trudeau also brought up the plight of two Canadians held in China.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said the two men had a "cordial conversation" about abortion laws in the United States despite their difference of views.
Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, the world's largest telecoms network gear maker, on a USA warrant in December.
U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver a joint press conference in Ottawa, on May 30, 2019.
Pence expects Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit next month in Japan and that the US will continue to urge Beijing to release the Canadians even while they deal with trade talks with China.
But Trudeau also raised the issue of women's rights in the USA, where several states have enacted anti-abortion measures.
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The new deal doesn't come into force unless all three countries ratify it; as Pence arrived in Canada, Democratic opposition in U.S. Congress was once again rearing its head in the form of a Connecticut Democrat opposed to the agreement.
Canada's prime minister, who has made unfettered access to abortion the cornerstone of his foreign and domestic policy, has decried the multiple pro-life bills being passed at the state level in the United States.
Trade lawyer Dan Ujczo, a Canada-U.S. specialist in Columbus, Ohio, said there is little doubt the new trade deal will be passed in Canada and Mexico but there is less than a 50 percent chance it gets passed in the U.S.in the summer.
During recent U.S. -China trade talks, the Canadians' cases were raised by the Americans directly with the Chinese after Trudeau pressed Trump after considerable lobbying from Trudeau and other Canadian government officials.
"We have been very clear with Canada and our allies that we consider Huawei incompatible with the security interests of the United States of America and our allies", Pence said.
Pence urged Canada to exclude Huawei equipment from their next-generation wireless networks, known as 5G.
The new trade deal doesn't come into force until ratified by Canada, the US and Mexico, and it's the politically volatile USA that remains the wild card.
"We'll see what it is that is on the prime minister's mind tomorrow on that subject", the USA official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Canada and the USA view him as a dictator with an illegitimate hold on power, and who must give way to opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.
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