Canada on track for Friday signing of USMCA once details finalized: Freeland

Canada has been in touch with the Americans and the Mexicans since arriving in Buenos Aires, officials say

Canada says it is on track to sign a new North American free-trade agreement on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina but Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland would not provide a firm confirmation on Thursday.

Freeland, speaking on a sunny patio at a hotel in Buenos Aires shortly after the Canadian delegation landed Thursday, said that details must be finalized on a “massive” three-way deal.

“Our objective has always been to sign this agreement on Nov. 30 and we are on track to hit that objective,” Freeland said.

Canada has been in touch with the Americans and the Mexicans since arriving in Buenos Aires, she added.

READ MORE: Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

“A vast number of technical details need to be scrubbed and wrapped up,” she said. “The fact that this is an agreement in three languages adds to the level of technical complexity and it is on that level that we are just being sure that all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed.”

The minister is part of a Canadian delegation attending a high-stakes G20 summit set to begin on Friday and draw global attention over trade tensions between China and the United States.

The Liberal government is also eyeing the issue of international security, after Canada and its allies condemned the seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea on Monday.

Freeland said she has spoken to the Ukrainian foreign minister and is in very close contact with other G7 countries on this issue.

She also said Ukraine is expected to be the topic of a “robust conversation” at a NATO foreign-ministers’ summit in Brussels next week.

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

39 caught speeding through Cowichan school zones

On June 1, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP conducted speed enforcement in several school zones

Lake Cowichan firefighters douse blaze at Mayo Road

Sahtlam called in for mutual aid in abandoned shop and motorhome

Caps send Luciano Wilson to Penticton Vees

Hometown hero led Cowichan in scoring last season

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

$10,000 stolen bikes recovered after Maple Bay break-in

Police track high-end bikes to storage locker

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Most Read