Trudeau to meet Pelosi, McConnell, as well as Trump in Washington

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet Nancy Pelosi, President Donald Trump’s most powerful Democratic opponent, during his Thursday visit to the U.S. capital, says the prime minister’s office.

In addition to Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Trudeau will meet the Republican leader of the upper chamber of Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, said Trudeau’s spokesman Cameron Ahmad.

“His discussions with them will focus on NAFTA, creating jobs, supporting the middle class, and growing our economic partnership between our two countries,” Ahmad said in an email.

Trudeau will also host a reception in Washington on Wednesday night shortly after his arrival, where he will meet with other senators and members of Congress from both parties as well as business leaders, said Ahmad.

“It’s an opportunity to strengthen our relationship and discuss trade and NAFTA,” he said.

Trudeau’s trip to Washington, including his Oval Office meeting on Thursday with Trump, is ostensibly about providing momentum to efforts in both countries to ratify the new North American trade deal. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is set to replace the current North American Free Trade Agreement that Trump despises and has repeatedly threatened to rip up.

But Trump’s success hinges on persuading his Democratic opponents in the House of Representatives, the lower house of Congress, to allow the ratification process to get started there. That’s where Trudeau could prove handy to Trump.

Pelosi is a veteran California congresswoman who would like to deny Trump a trade victory, but the House Democrats she leads are also working with the administration to address their concerns about the USMCA.

Some Democrats want stronger provisions to enforce new labour standards in Mexico that would raise wages and give unions more power.

Trump’s trade czar Robert Lighthizer told the powerful House ways and means committee on Wednesday that he’s willing to co-operate with Democrats to move forward on the new trade bill.

“The bill has been public and we have been in negotiations for nine months,” he said his second appearance on Capitol Hill in as many days.

He praised Pelosi for her efforts as he did Tuesday before the Senate finance committee, but he’s clearly in a hurry to ratify the new trade pact.

“Getting this done sooner rather than later is in everybody’s interest. It saves jobs, it helps the economy, it gets certainty in place,” said Lighthizer.

Trudeau is waiting for the trade deal to move through the U.S. Congress before putting it to a vote in the House of Commons.

“We are going to make sure we are keeping in step with them, we have an ability to recall Parliament if we need to,” he said Wednesday morning, outside his regular meeting with the Liberal caucus in Ottawa. “We will also make sure we are monitoring the pace at which the Americans are ratifying.”

Donald Trump

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump take part in a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, D.C. In addition to Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Trudeau will meet the Republican leader of the upper chamber of Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, said Trudeau’s spokesman Cameron Ahmad.

Just Posted

Alberta plan to use smartphones to enforce quarantines raises privacy questions

Governments must be transparent about who is collecting and processing the data, says one expert

Police patrols increased in Red Deer

Break-in at Red Deer Legion

A cash crunch is coming for the City of Red Deer, says city manager

City council will have to consider loans or borrowing from reserves

Suspected thieves caught red-handed by Sylvan Lake RCMP

Incidents happened last Sunday and Monday in the Birchcliff and Lacombe County areas

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Message from Remax Commercial: What to do when ‘sorry we’re temporarily closed’ is part of your business as landlord or tenant

Do you have questions about rent reductions or deferral of lease payments? Experts can help

Landowners and legal experts criticize Alberta’s well cleanup bill

Critics say bill still doesn’t give energy companies a timeline to clean up their mess

Toronto company expands ventilator production tenfold to meet demand

Toronto-based company would produce at most 50 ventilators in a month

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

Increase comes despite the federal government having introduced a suicide-prevention strategy

Suspected thieves caught red-handed by Sylvan Lake RCMP

Incidents happened last Sunday and Monday in the Birchcliff and Lacombe County areas

JoAnne Hayden named new executive director of Aspire

JoAnne Hayden is no stranger to the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre… Continue reading

Most Read