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

Bailey’s celebrating 100 years of farming in B.C.

Vanderhoof farm received the Century Farm Award awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Alice in Wonderland Jr. coming to Vanderhoof this March

W.L. McLeod Elementary presents its 12th production

Mainly sunny Saturday, but cloudy weather in the forecast

Environment Canada weather report for the week of Feb. 24

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Vanderhoof wrestler wins gold in provincials

Rayen Rempel won gold in the 41-kg category at the BC Wrestling Provincials held in Langley.

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Most Read