Toronto, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not travel to Washington this week to meet with US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to mark the entry into force of the new free trade treaty among the three countries, known as the USMCA.
In a communique issued on Monday, the Canadian premier’s office said that Trudeau will remain in Canada this week for previously scheduled ministerial meetings and parliamentary sessions.
Trudeau’s office wished the US and Mexico success at the meeting on Wednesday to hail the entry into force of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, saying that the pact will help ensure that North America emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic even stronger than before.
Trump and Trudeau’s relationship has rapidly chilled in recent months as negotiations among Washington, Ottawa and Mexico City for the signing and ratification of the USMCA drew to their conclusion and the date for the US presidential elections has drawn closer.
In addition, despite the entry into force of the USMCA, Canada fears that the US in the coming weeks will once again impose tariffs on imports of Canadian aluminum, one of the problems that prolonged the last stage of the pact’s negotiation.
The last time that the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Canadian aluminum, in May 2018, Canada undertook a reprisal worth billions of dollars against US products and slowed down the negotiations for the new agreement.
Only when the US eliminated the tariffs, in May 2019, did Trudeau declare that Canada was ready to ratify the USMCA, a move which came last March.
The tariffs on Canadian aluminum also caused a serious conflict between Trump and Trudeau during the G7 summit held in June 2018 when the Canadian leader declared that he considered the tariffs imposed by Washington “insulting.”
Trump responded by withdrawing his signature from the summit’s final communique and insulting Trudeau, whom he accused of being “weak” “dishonest” and “submissive.”