Tillerson meeting with Canadian, Mexican foreign ministers | Reuters

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met his Canadian counterpart for the first time on Wednesday for talks that touched on the trilateral NAFTA trade agreement, which President Donald Trump wants to renegotiate.As well as talking to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Tillerson is also due to meet with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, according to a statement from the Mexican government.Both Canada and Mexico send the bulk of their exports to the United States and could be crippled by major changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has called 'a disaster'.Asked about the possibility that the United States could push for new border tariffs on Canadian goods in the NAFTA talks, Freeland said she had made clear her strong opposition to the idea during her discussions with U.S

Reuters February 09, 2017 02:32:17 IST
Tillerson meeting with Canadian, Mexican foreign ministers
| Reuters

Tillerson meeting with Canadian Mexican foreign ministers
 Reuters

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met his Canadian counterpart for the first time on Wednesday for talks that touched on the trilateral NAFTA trade agreement, which President Donald Trump wants to renegotiate.As well as talking to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Tillerson is also due to meet with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, according to a statement from the Mexican government.Both Canada and Mexico send the bulk of their exports to the United States and could be crippled by major changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has called "a disaster".Asked about the possibility that the United States could push for new border tariffs on Canadian goods in the NAFTA talks, Freeland said she had made clear her strong opposition to the idea during her discussions with U.S. officials."If such an idea were ever to come into being, Canada would respond appropriately," she told reporters on a conference call, stressing Ottawa did not yet know what the U.S. opening position would be.

The Mexican statement said that in his meetings with Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly on Wednesday, Videgaray would address issues including the protection of Mexicans in the United States, migration, and security and border infrastructure.Trump made free trade deals a major target during his campaign for the presidency. He says NAFTA, formally signed in 1994, has harmed American workers.

The deal aimed at removing tariff barriers between Canada, Mexico and the United States.Canada is trying to persuade the new administration and senior politicians that its especially close ties with the United States mean the country should be spared protectionist measures.

"In making the case for how balanced and mutually beneficial our economic relationship was, I really felt I was pushing on an open door with everyone I spoke to," said Freeland. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati in Washington and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by James Dalgleish)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.