Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed with US President Donald Trump relations with China, including the question of two Canadian citizens detained in this country.
A statement from Trudeau’s office says that one of the topics was Ottawa’s ongoing attempts to secure the release of the detainees.
In addition, the Canadian Prime Minister raised the issue of steel and aluminum duties imposed by the United States, noting the need to cancel them.
The White House states that in a telephone conversation Trump and Trudeau discussed trade negotiations. “President Donald Trump discussed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau trade negotiations with China, as well as (trade agreement) USMCA.”
Leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada at the end of November at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires signed a new trade agreement USMCA. The agreement defines the parameters of the largest interstate trade bloc and has replaced the North American Free Trade Zone (NAFTA). The agreement was renegotiated on new compromise conditions at the insistence of Trump. The document must be ratified by the parliaments of the three countries, including the US Congress.
Earlier, Xinhua, citing the authorities of China, reported that a Canadian citizen, Michael Kovrig, had violated Chinese laws since 2017, acting as a spy and stealing information containing state secrets. The agency reported that their case is investigated in accordance with the law, the rights of suspects will be respected, including consular access. The media suggested that Canadians were arrested in retaliation for the arrest of the director of the Chinese company Huawei Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.