Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’

Trudeau Says He Doesn’t Believe He Behaved Inappropriately Toward Reporter

July 6, 2018

Allegation that he groped a woman 18 years ago have resurfaced

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with members of the media Thursday in Toronto.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with members of the media Thursday in Toronto. PHOTO: COLE BURSTON/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he doesn’t believe he behaved inappropriately during an interaction with a female reporter that took place 18 years ago and has come under renewed scrutiny.

The allegation was made in an editorial published in the Creston Valley Advance, a newspaper in the West Coast province of British Columbia, in 2000. The editorial was republished in a satirical magazine earlier this year and later circulated on social media.

The editorial, which wasn’t signed, accused Mr. Trudeau of “groping” a young female reporter and said Mr. Trudeau had apologized for his behavior that day after learning the reporter was also writing for another newspaper with a larger circulation. The editorial didn’t provide further details of the incident.

Asked about the matter during a public appearance in Toronto on Thursday, Mr. Trudeau said he didn’t believe he had acted inappropriately.

“I’ve been reflecting very carefully on what I remember from that incident almost 20 years ago and again, I am…I feel I am confident that I did not act inappropriately.”

He said it is possible the person who made the allegation perceived the interaction differently. Mr. Trudeau said that if he apologized after the incident, “it would be because I sensed that she was not entirely comfortable with the interaction that we had.”

The woman hasn’t spoken publicly about the matter.

Mr. Trudeau has positioned himself as an outspoken advocate for gender equality and has dealt harshly with members of his party who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Earlier this year, Mr. Trudeau ordered an independent investigation into Liberal lawmaker Kent Hehr’s past behavior after learning of allegations that Mr. Hehr made inappropriate sexual remarks when he was a provincial lawmaker in Alberta. Mr. Hehr resigned from his role as minister for sport and disabilities in January.

The allegation against Mr. Trudeau has re-emerged amid heightened scrutiny of sexual misconduct by men in powerful positions, largely the result of the #MeToo movement.

Write to Kim Mackrael at


Trump’s Trade Adviser Apologizes for ‘Inappropriate’ Trudeau Comments

June 12, 2018

Image result for peter navarro, photos

Used ‘inappropriate’ words in effort to show strength, he says


White House’s Hassett urges U.S., Canada to take ‘deep breath’

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro apologized for suggesting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deserved a “special place in hell” for a perceived breach in protocol against U.S. President Donald Trump.

“My job was to send a signal of strength,” he said at a Wall Street Journal CFO Network conference in Washington on Tuesday. “The problem was that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate.”

Citing Chinese philosopher Confucius, Navarro said “if you make a mistake and don’t correct it, that’s a mistake.”

Navarro, a supporter of tariffs to help reduce the U.S.’s trade deficit and a longtime critic of China, turned his anger at Canada over the weekend as a Group of Seven meeting hosted by Trudeau ended in disarray and trade threats. After leaving the summit early, Trump tweeted he was pulling U.S. support from a joint statement and he accused Trudeau, the summit’s host, of being weak and dishonest during a news conference.

Navarro took the attack a step further on Sunday.

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” Navarro said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The criticism was echoed by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who joined Trump at the G-7 meetings. He called on Trudeau to apologize to Trump. Kudlow was hospitalized after suffering a mild heart attack when he returned to Washington. He’s expected to make a full recovery.

Navarro’s willingness to walk back his outburst marked a departure from the Trump administration’s never-say-you’re-sorry approach to political crises. Trump often hurls personal insults, without apology, from calling Mexican undocumented immigrants “rapists” to mocking a reporter with a disability on the campaign trail.

The apology could ease tensions after Canada’s parliament condemned the personal attack on Trudeau and as Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland gets ready to meet with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday in Washington.

Insulting Tariffs

At his closing G-7 press conference on Saturday, Trudeau called U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs “insulting” and pledged to proceed with previously announced retaliatory tariffs. Canadians are “polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” Trudeau said.

G-7 leaders jumped to the defense of Trudeau and reiterated their support for their joint statement. European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “There is a special place in heaven” for Trudeau.

Earlier on Tuesday at the Washington conference, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said the U.S. and Canada need to “take a deep breath.”

“There’s been a lot of emotional action on all sides. And I think what people need to do at this moment is take a step back,” Hassett said. “Politicians can get into disagreements and they can have heated disputes but you have to think about where does this go, how bad could it get and the disputes are over a really, really small share of GDP.”

Includes video

 Updated on 

White House Economic Adviser Lawrence Kudlow Has ‘Very Mild’ Heart Attack

June 12, 2018

Kudlow is in good condition and is expected to recovery fully, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said

Image result for Lawrence Kudlow, photos
Lawrence Kudlow

WASHINGTON—Lawrence Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, had a heart attack Monday and was hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Doctors described Mr. Kudlow’s heart attack as “very mild,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. She added that he is in good condition and doctors expect him to make a “full and speedy recovery.”

Mr. Kudlow, 70 years old, has served as director of the president’s National Economic Council since March, having replaced Gary Cohn.

“Our Great Larry Kudlow, who has been working so hard on trade and the economy, has just suffered a heart attack,” the president tweeted shortly before his summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Stephen Moore, a friend of Mr. Kudlow, said Monday night that he had learned from friends of the Kudlow family that Mr. Kudlow “looks like he’s going to be fine.” Mr. Moore, who was heading to the hospital to visit Mr. Kudlow, said: “I’m hearing that he’s going to be OK.”

Mr. Kudlow had kept a brisk schedule as head of the NEC, speaking regularly to the press corps and traveling frequently with the president.

Mr. Kudlow, a onetime conservative economic commentator, had attended the Group of Seven conference of industrialized nations with Mr. Trump in Quebec over the weekend, but didn’t join the president for the summit meeting with Mr. Kim.

After the G-7 meeting, he defended Mr. Trump’s criticism of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had vowed that his country wouldn’t tolerate U.S. tariffs on Canadian metals. “Trudeau decided to attack the president—that’s the key point,” Mr. Kudlow told CBS. “And yes, you know, if you attack this president he’s going to fight back.”

In his short stint in the post, Mr. Kudlow has emerged as the president’s chief economic spokesman and one of his main cheerleaders, though they have taken different positions on U.S. trade relations.

Mr. Kudlow, part of a pro-free-trade faction inside the Trump administration, has made clear he dislikes the tariffs that Mr. Trump has wielded in an attempt to wipe out the U.S. trade deficit. But he has defended the president’s moves nonetheless, telling The Wall Street Journal in a recent interview that he sees tariffs as part of “a quiver of tools”available to a president intent on improving America’s global trade position.

Mr. Kudlow is a former Wall Street economist who developed close ties with Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mr. Kudlow worked as a top budget aide in the administration of President Ronald Reagan between stints as a Wall Street economist in the 1980s and 1990s. He has been an economic commentator for the past two decades on various television and radio programs.

In an interview shortly after taking his current job, he said of his new role, “it’s a larger job than I thought.”

An open question has been whether Mr. Kudlow can retain the staff built by his predecessor, Mr. Cohn, which is highly regarded even among Mr. Cohn’s detractors.

One of the officials Mr. Cohn promoted to serve as one of the NEC’s two deputies earlier this year, Shahira Knight, said earlier this month she would leave the White House to take a job at a banking trade group.

Mr. Kudlow’s transition to senior White House official from the freewheeling world of cable TV wasn’t seamless.

Shortly after his appointment, he ran afoul of Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He suggested in April that she suffered “momentary confusion” when she had said on TV that the U.S. was prepared to slap new sanctions on Russia. Ms. Haley hadn’t been told that such plans were no longer in effect—a fact that Mr. Kudlow didn’t know at the time.

“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Ms. Haley said in a statement.”

Mr. Kudlow called her to apologize.

After the White House announced plans to impose tariffs in March, and before taking his current job, Mr. Kudlow didn’t hold back in criticizing Mr. Trump’s threat to impose steel tariffs on close allies such as Canada. In an interview, he said tariffs on allies would distract from the administration’s more purposeful effort to crack down on trading abuses by China.

In an interview earlier this month after the White House moved ahead with plans to impose tariffs on Canada, Mr. Kudlow said of his earlier opposition to Mr. Trump’s tariffs, “That was my view. But his view is prevailing.”

Mr. Kudlow also said he had argued internally against moving ahead with tariffs on automobiles, which are also being considered, citing the same national-security grounds as the steel and aluminum tariffs.

“I am concerned. I have spoken up,” he said. “I speak up.”

Write to Peter Nicholas at and Nick Timiraos at

Appeared in the June 12, 2018, print edition as ‘Trump Aide Kudlow Suffers Heart Attack.’

Asian markets global rally with G7 in focus

June 7, 2018

Asian markets built on their latest rally Thursday as investors tracked another strong lead from Wall Street, with fresh upbeat US data reinforcing optimism in the global outlook, overshadowing simmering trade concerns.

The euro also continued its recovery from last week’s Italy-fuelled plunge, with the European Central Bank’s top economist said it would discuss winding down its crisis-era stimulus.

June 7, 2018 — AFP

© AFP/File | Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hit back at US tariffs with countermeasures ahead of the G& summit in Quebec at the weekend


All three main indexes in New York rose, with the Nasdaq hitting a third straight record, after a record reading on US exports for April, which indicated the world’s top economy is in fine fettle.

Banks were among the big winners as the ECB’s massive bond-buying regime, which has kept borrowing costs low, appears to be coming to an end after chief economist Peter Praet said such a move would be on the agenda at next week’s policy meeting.

The euro — which dallied with $1.15 last week — briefly climbed past $1.18 on Wednesday before easing back, but it held up in Asia.

In equity markets, Tokyo ended the morning session one percent higher, while Hong Kong rose 0.6 percent — putting it on course for a sixth successive gain.

Shanghai added 0.3 percent, Sydney was 0.8 percent higher and Seoul put on 0.7 percent. Singapore, Taipei, Wellington, Manila and Jakarta were also sharply higher.

– Growing divisions –

“While interest rates are usually a negative for equity markets, investors are viewing higher interest rates in a favourable light, reflective of surging economic growth, not as a buffer against inflation,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

The positive mood comes as traders await this weekend’s Group of Seven summit in Quebec, which comes after Donald Trump sparked fury by imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

That was met with retaliatory measures from all three.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said they are braced for tense discussions, while Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso has referred to the G7 as the “G6+1”, highlighting the growing divisions.

“Reports are that not only is… Trump going to continue to pursue his hard line on trade but also that … Trudeau has raised the ire of the White House with his response to US tariffs and more are on the way,” said Greg McKenna, chief chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

“If Trudeau is prepared to fight then I?d expect others will too. So strangely, while the Chinese are doing their best to de-escalate what the Americans are doing the chance of a conflagration with US allies grows.”

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 22,839.85 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 31,460.54

Shanghai – Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,125.38

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1796 from $1.1774 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3436 from $1.3413

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.12 yen from 110.19 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 26 cents at $64.99 per barrel

Oil – Brent Crude: UP 30 cents at $75.66 per barrel

New York – Dow Jones: UP 1.4 percent at 25,146.39 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,712.37 (close)

Trump’s Looming Trade War Has Asian Allies Seeking Peace

March 6, 2018

As Europe threatens retaliation, others pin hopes on the U.S. bending its planned steel, aluminum tariff rules

Trade unions hold a protest in São Paulo, Brazil, against President Donald Trump’s planned steel and aluminum tariffs, March 5. Some countries are promising retaliation but Asia-Pacific allies have so far avoided making similar outright threats. Photo: miguel schincariol/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Some U.S. trading partners are taking heart from suggestions President Donald Trump might leave wiggle room in his steel and aluminum tariffs, leading to a lobbying blitz for exemptions.

In contrast with Europe, U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region so far are avoiding outright threats of retaliation against American goods. They believe that could be counterproductive when Mr. Trump has yet to make his plans final and faces rifts within his own administration and Republican Party about the tariff plans.

Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Tuesday he had spoken with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to express concern about Mr. Trump’s plans for a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminum. He said Japan was approaching the U.S. in “various forms” to express its view that Japanese steel wasn’t a threat to U.S. national security.

Meanwhile, South Korea dispatched its trade minister, Kim Hyun-chong, to the U.S. on Tuesday for the second time in the past two weeks. Mr. Kim will “strongly request that the U.S. side make South Korean steel exempt” from the tariffs, a ministry statement said. Another South Korean minister sent a letter to Mr. Ross with the same request.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed the possible U.S. tariffs with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday Tokyo time, according to Japanese statements. A spokeswoman in Tokyo said the Australian and Canadian leaders initiated the calls and expressed concerns about the U.S. steps, but it wasn’t clear if the leaders discussed plans to coordinate opposition.

The European Union’s executive arm said Friday it had put together a package of penalties affecting $3.5 billion in U.S. exports and named targets including Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon.

Other allies have yet to follow suit in giving specifics. “Japan wants to avoid a negative chain reaction,” said Junichi Sugawara, a researcher at Mizuho Research Institute in Tokyo who specializes in trade. “They don’t want to cause unnecessary friction” especially since Japan relies on its military alliance with the U.S. for defense.

Over the weekend, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said no country would get a tariff exclusion “at this point in time” but there would be “an exemption procedure for particular cases.” Mr. Sugawara said Mr. Trump might be persuaded to exempt high-value-added products in which Japan specializes, meaning the effects “could be considerably lightened.”

Australia’s trade minister, Steve Ciobo, played down suggestions that Australia could follow Europe and retaliate with tariffs of its own, although he said the country could take steps to prevent dumping of excess Chinese and Korean steel in its own market.

Australian officials said Mr. Turnbull, the prime minister, was assured in a meeting with Mr. Trump last July, on the sidelines of a G-20 meeting, that Australian steel and aluminum would be exempted from U.S. tariffs. Australia exports about 500 million Australian dollars (US$388 million) worth of steel and aluminum to the U.S. each year. The U.S. declined to offer any fresh assurances during Mr. Turnbull’s visit to the White House last month.

Over the weekend, Mr. Turnbull offered a vigorous defense of free trade but avoided criticizing Mr. Trump.

“Protectionism is a dead end,” Mr. Turnbull said. “Protectionism is not a shovel to get you out of the low-growth trap, it’s a shovel to dig it a lot deeper. We are absolutely clear: We want to see more trade, more open markets.”

Japan has also been stressing its leadership role in promoting trade. It pushed through an 11-nation version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after Mr. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the pact. The 11 nations, which include Australia and Canada, are set to sign the deal in Chile on Thursday.

In their phone call Tuesday, Messrs. Abe and Trudeau “agreed they will work together to expand the realm of free trade,” a Japanese statement said.

—Kwanwoo Jun in Seoul contributed to this article.

Write to Peter Landers at and Rob Taylor at

Trudeau Threatens to Leave Nafta Rather Than ‘Take Any Old Deal’

February 3, 2018


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made some of his most aggressive comments to date on dealing with U.S. demands to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, adding he still thinks he can get the right deal for his country.

  • Canada Prime minister comments at B.C. town hall event
  • Remarks come after earlier progress at Nafta talks in Montreal


Canada’s Freeland ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ on Nafta Talks

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made some of his most aggressive comments to date on dealing with U.S. demands to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, adding he still thinks he can get the right deal for his country.

“We aren’t going to take any old deal,” Trudeau said Friday at a town hall in Nanaimo, British Columbia. “Canada is willing to walk away from Nafta if the United States proposes a bad deal. We won’t be pushed around.”

His comments come days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to get tough on trade, though he didn’t single out Nafta, in his State of the Union address. The latest round of Nafta talks wrapped up in Montreal on Monday, with all sides saying there had been progress, while acknowledging significant gaps remain on some issues.

Trudeau said the 24-year-old pact has been good for both Canada and the U.S. and a reworked deal could still be reached. “Canceling it would be extremely harmful and disruptive to people in the United States,” Trudeau said.

“We are going to keep negotiating in good faith,” he added. “We are confident we are going to be able to get to the right deal for Canada, not just any deal.”

Growing Tension

While Trump said last year he was seeking to just tweak trade ties with Canada — and Mexico looked like the main target of a revamp — the positions have shifted. Growing tensions were evident at the close of round-six of Nafta talks this week in Montreal when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lashed out at Canada for filing a sweeping trade case against America at the World Trade Organization in January.

Lighthizer also revived a debate between the two countries over trade-gap statistics and called Canada’s ideas for new auto-content requirements in Nafta as too vague and rowing in the opposite direction of the U.S.’s needs.

Trudeau’s comments on Friday could ratchet up pressures and remind the U.S. that Canada — America’s largest export market — is thinking about life after Nafta if the negotiations collapse.

The Canadian dollar fell as much as 1.4 percent against the greenback shortly after Trudeau’s comments and traded 1.3 percent weaker at C$1.2423 at 4:34 p.m. in Toronto. It is up 1.2 percent against the U.S. dollar this year.

“We don’t view the Trudeau comments as anything more than him stating that Canada wouldn’t sign just any deal,” said Bipan Rai, a Toronto-based foreign-exchange and macro strategist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. “There is still a strong willingness on the Canadian side to get a deal done, but not one that would hurt domestic prospects.”

— With assistance by Maciej Onoszko

Israel’s Netanyahu Urges Europeans To Support Trump and “Fix” The Iran Nuclear Deal

January 24, 2018


Netanyahu tells heads of state at World Economic Forum in Davos that he won’t let Iran establish itself militarily in Syria

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2018.עמוס בן גרשום / לע”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a number of world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset.

The leaders spoke about the nuclear agreement with Iran, with Netanyahu calling on them to take advantage of the opportunity provided by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ultimatum and improve the deal. Netanyahu is expected to meet with Trump on Thursday afternoon.

Netanyahu once again reiterated he will not allow Iran to establish itself militarily in Syria, adding that Israel is taking action to prevent this. As for the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu’s bureau said in a statement that the government “will not compromise on Israel’s security needs in any future agreement.”

In their meeting, Netanyahu and the Swiss leaders agreed to create new channels for economic cooperation between the two countries. Netanyahu and Trudeau discussed updating the free trade agreement between the two nations and agreed to speed up the negotiations on the matter.

Before leaving for Davos Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would stress the need for changes to the Iran nuclear deal in his meetings with Merkel and Macron.

“In any case, with or without an agreement, our policy is to prevent the terrorist regime in Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons, which would endanger us, the Middle East and the entire world,” he said.

Earlier this month, Trump waived sanctions on Iran, allowing the nuclear deal to survive. He, however, stated that this will be the “last time” he waives those sanctions, unless the U.S. and its European allies can find a way to remove “loopholes” in the agreement within the next four months.

Netanyahu’s participation in Davos, like almost everything else going on there throughout the week, will likely be eclipsed by Trump’s Friday appearance.

Trump’s ‘America first’ agenda could easily clash with Davos’ theme of ‘Creating a Shared Future in Fractured World.’ Participants in the forum can experience an exhibit illustrating “a day in the life of a refugee,” hear about ways to uphold the Paris climate accord and promote free trade – or rub elbows with any number of leaders of African countries.

Trump and Netanyahu are expected to meet on Thursday, which will mark their first meeting since Trump announced the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The two last met in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Tillerson set to meet Trudeau for N. Korea crisis talks

December 11, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, looks at China’s President Xi Jinping walks to his seat during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool) The Associated Press

OTTAWA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next week for talks on how to address the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear weapons, an Ottawa source said on Monday.

Canada and the United States are due to co-host a meeting of foreign ministers in Vancouver in January to discuss North Korea.

During a day trip to Ottawa on Dec. 19 Tillerson will also meet Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said the source, who requested anonymity because the meetings have not yet been formally announced.

North Korea has fired missiles over Japan as it pursues nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. sanctions. Last week it said U.S. and South Korean military drills meant the outbreak of war was “an established fact”. [nL3N1OA05K]

No one in the offices of Trudeau and Freeland was immediately available for comment. The U.S. embassy in Ottawa declined to comment.

Freeland said last month that the Vancouver talks would show the unity of the international community in applying pressure on Pyongyang. [nL1N1NZ2GW]

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Andrew Hay

TPP leaders’ meeting fails to materialise amid disputes

November 10, 2017

DANANG, Vietnam (Reuters) – A planned meeting of leaders of the 11 countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to decide on the fate of the trade pact did not take place on Friday, amid disagreements over how to take it forward without the United States.

The leaders were set to meet on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam to discuss how to push ahead with TPP.

Their meeting was preceded by conflicting comments from their delegations on Thursday, when the trade ministers met to firm up a plan to present to the leaders. Japan had said an agreement in principle had been reached, but Canada disputed that.

The spat highlighted the continuing challenge to reviving a pact whose survival was thrown into doubt when President Donald Trump ditched it, in one of his first acts in office, in favour of bilateral deal-making by the United States.

The leaders’ meeting had been scheduled for 0145 local time (0645 GMT), but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to show up, according to people familiar with the matter.

“The meeting did not happen, work remains to be done and that’s what’s happening now,” a Canadian official said.

“We need to get this right and that will take the time it takes. We have to remember, the task officials had going into this week was to present options,” the official said.

Even before the planned meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had told the president of Peru – a TPP member – that he welcomed a broad agreement reached at the TPP ministerial meeting.

Canada, whose economy is the second biggest among the TPP-11 after Japan, said on Wednesday it would not be rushed into a revived TPP deal. Like Mexico, its position is further complicated by renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the Trump administration.

A Vietnamese soldier stands guard at the airport upon arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump for the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam November 10, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

The TPP aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across a bloc whose trade totalled $356 billion last year. It also has provisions for protecting everything from labour rights to the environment to intellectual property – one of the main sticking points.

The original 12 countries had reached agreement on the TPP in 2016, but Trump withdrew, throwing its very survival into doubt.

The absence of the United States had made TPP unattractive for some countries, but Japan had lobbied hard to proceed with a pact that could help to contain China’s growing regional dominance.

TPP countries are discussing suspending certain provisions of the original agreement to avoid having to renegotiate it and potentially, in the long term, to entice the United States back.

Earlier on Friday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he was “reasonably confident” a deal could be reached without the United States. Malaysia is one of the 11 TPP countries.

“We believe TPP is important for the region… The 11 countries led by Japan, we are trying to come up with our new version,” Najib said at a separate panel discussion at the APEC summit.

“I am reasonably confident. I am quite sanguine that we will get a deal but of course it has got to go through the process of ratification,” he said.

Trump set out a strong message on trade at the APEC summit on Friday, saying the United States could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and would insist on fair and equal policies. Redressing the balance of trade between Asia and the United States is at the centre of Trump’s “America First” policy he says will protect U.S. workers.

Countering Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Asia-Pacific nations must “uphold multilateralism”. Globalisation was an irreversible trend, but the world must work to make it more balanced and inclusive, Xi told leaders.

Additional reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Nick Macfie


BBC News

Trump at Apec summit: US will no longer tolerate trade abuses

Donald Trump said he would put “America first” at the Apec summit

President Donald Trump has said the US will no longer tolerate “chronic trade abuses”, in a defiant address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam.

He said he would always put US interests first and Apec nations should “abide by fair reciprocal trade”.

In stark contrast, China’s Xi Jinping said globalisation was irreversible and voiced support for multilateralism.

Mr Trump is currently on a five-nation Asia tour, with China one of his stops.

Apec brings together 21 economies from the Pacific region – the equivalent of about 60% of the world’s GDP.

Since taking office, President Trump has pursued his “America First” agenda and pulled the US out of the regional Trans-Pacific Partnership – a major trade deal with 12 Apec nations – arguing it would hurt US economic interests.

What did Trump say?

In a speech in the Vietnamese port city of Da Nang on Friday, President Trump railed against the World Trade Organization, which sets global trade laws, and said it “cannot function properly” if all members do not respect the rules.

He complained about trade imbalances, saying the US had lowered market barriers and ended tariffs while other countries had not reciprocated. “Such practices hurt many people in our country,” he said, adding that free trade had cost millions of American jobs.

But he did not lay the blame on Apec countries, and instead accused earlier US administrations of not acting earlier to reverse the trend.

He said America would make bilateral agreements with “any Indo-Pacific partner here who abides by fair reciprocal trade”, but only “on a basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit”.

China's President Xi Jinping (C) arrives to speak on the final day of the APEC CEO Summit ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit in Danang, Vietnam, 10 November 2017Image copyrightEPA
Image captionXi Jinping is promoting China as the champion of free trade

Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to the region as “Indo-Pacific”, a term used to define America’s new geopolitical view of Asia.

The US president had travelled to Da Nang from Beijing, where he had also discussed America’s huge trade imbalance with China. There too, he said he did not blame the country for “taking advantage”.

How did his speech compare to Xi’s?

Speaking minutes after his American counterpart, Chinese President Xi Jinping took to the podium to espouse his country’s credentials as the new champion of world trade.

Globalisation, he said, was an “irreversible historical trend” but the philosophy behind free trade needed to be repurposed to be “more open, more balanced, more equitable and more beneficial to all”.

In contrast to President Trump, the Chinese leader defended multilateral trade deals, which he said helped poorer nations to benefit.

“We should support the multilateral trading regime and practise open regionalism to allow developing members to benefit more from international trade and investment.”

America First, or the Chinese Dream?

By Karishma Vaswani, Asia business correspondent

President Trump was clear – he wants bilateral trade deals and large, multilateral arrangements don’t work for him. This was a speech saying that America is open for business, but on America’s terms.

Contrast that with China’s Xi Jinping, who spoke about the digital economy, quantum science, artificial intelligence – presenting a vision of the future that is connected, and comprehensive.

Increasingly whenever you see Mr Xi on the international stage he is the poster child for free trade and globalisation. Ironic, given that China itself has yet to become a fully free economy.

The US was the architect of many of the multilateral and free trade agreements for Asia. Under its tutelage, many of these countries opened up and reformed – playing by America’s rules.

But under Donald Trump, that role has gone into reverse. Which has left China with a gaping hole to fill – and one it is only more than happy to take on.

Read more from Karishma

How are US-China trade relations?

The total trade relationship between the US and China was worth $648bn last year, but trade was heavily skewed in China’s favour with the US amassing a nearly $310bn deficit.

Mr Trump has in the past accused China of stealing American jobs and threatened to label it a currency manipulator, though he has since rowed back on such rhetoric.

Bar chart shows US trade with Asia market
Graph shows US trade with China since 1985

During the US president’s visit on Thursday, China announced it would further lower entry barriers in the banking, insurance, and finance sectors, and gradually reduce vehicle tariffs.

Mr Xi promised “healthy” and “balanced” economic and trade relations.

Deals worth $250bn (£190bn) were also announced, although it was unclear how much of that figure included past agreements or potential future deals. At the same time, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told journalists the deals were “pretty small” in terms of tackling the trade imbalance.

Before the Beijing talks, Mr Trump in Tokyo lashed out at Japan, saying it “has been winning” on trade in recent decades.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will also be making a speech at the Apec summit. Japan had a $69bn (£52.8bn) trade surplus with the US in 2016, according to the US Treasury department.

It’s unclear whether Mr Trump will address human rights issues in Vietnam

After attending the Apec summit, Mr Trump will pay a state visit to the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Mr Trump will end his 12-day Asian tour in the Philippines on 13 November.

Britain, US ‘turning inward’, Canadian PM says in Ireland

July 4, 2017


© AFP | Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, left, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Farmleigh, Ireland’s state guest house, in Dublin

DUBLIN (AFP) – Britain and the United States are “turning inward,” Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference with his Irish counterpart on Tuesday in which both leaders took swipes at their heavyweight neighbours.Trudeau also said during a visit to Dublin that there were “clear disagreements” with the United States ahead of the G20 summit this week, where US President Donald Trump is expected to attend.

“The choices made by the United States on trade and climate change are at odds with the majority of G20 countries, or even all the other G20 countries,” he said after talks with Ireland’s Leo Varadkar.

Trudeau predicted that there would be “robust and honest exchanges about how to serve not only our citizens but the whole planet” at the summit, while adding that such meetings were also a chance to try to find “common ground”.

The United States and Canada are locked in a trade dispute, with the US accusing Canada of exporting its products at unfairly low “dumping” prices.

Canada is also a major supporter of the Paris Agreement to combat global warming, which Trump has said he wants to pull out of.

Both leaders issued thinly veiled criticism of their neighbours’ politics.

“There are tremendous opportunities for countries like Canada and Ireland, at a time where perhaps our significant allies and trading partners in the case of both the US and the UK are turning inward or at least turning into a different direction,” Trudeau said.

The sentiment was echoed by Varadkar, who reiterated his country’s commitment to the European Union as it prepares for Britain’s exit from the bloc.

“We each share a relationship with a very big neighbour, a neighbour that has to a certain extent decided to go in a different direction at least for the time being,” he said.

Varadkar said that “unfortunately” Britain had chosen to leave the European Union and would not be able to negotiate free-trade agreements like the one between Canada and the EU until it has officially left.

“I can’t see a scenario where Britain could remain a member of the EU, even in transitional period, and then negotiate other trade deals on their own”.

Varadkar, the son of an Indian migrant and Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister, said he and Trudeau had discussed a wide range of issues, including the benefits of immigration and diversity.

“Both countries and both governments are committed to multilateralism as the best means by which we can solve the world’s problems,” Varadkar said.