NAFTA progress doesn’t stop Freeland from heading to Europe on diplomatic trip

Chrystia Freeland said it’s important for Canada to continue to do its work around the world

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be travelling to Europe next week on a diplomatic mission that’s raising questions about whether Canada expects to return to the bargaining table soon for the three-country NAFTA talks.

Freeland said Friday it’s important for Canada to continue to do its work around the world — even with signs of progress in the bilateral NAFTA negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico.

“Europe is a very important one that I’ve been looking forward to,” she said, adding she will be meeting with the foreign ministers of Germany and France, as well as addressing the annual meeting of Ukraine’s ambassadors to show Canada’s support for its sovereignty and opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“Canada has key allies around the world given CETA, our trade agreement with the EU.”

There’s optimism that the U.S. and Mexico are close to sorting out their one-on-one sticking points, which would open the door for Canada to rejoin the negotiations.

Freeland was asked whether her European trip meant she didn’t expect a breakthrough next week in the NAFTA talks. She replied by saying Canada will return to the NAFTA table for trilateral talks once the American and Mexican governments resolve their bilateral issues — particularly their differences on automotive rules of origin.

“I do want to underscore that I’ve been hearing optimism from those countries about the progress they’re making and Canada is very sympathetic to the fact that these issues are very complicated,” she told reporters in Richmond, B.C.

“We want a good deal, not just any deal.”

Freeland didn’t directly say whether she would cut her European trip short if Canada is invited back to the table.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Man charged with stealing Chief Dan George sculpture from Abbotsford school

Piece turned up in Mission pawn shop after Chilliwack artist noticed it missing this summer

Hundreds of tickets available for Canucks game in Abbotsford

Exhibition game set for Sept. 23 inside the Abbotsford Centre

New real-time location technology coming soon to Fraser Valley buses

Waiting riders will be able to see location of their bus using their phones

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Taco Festival debuts in Abbotsford

Taco lovers descend onto Abbotsford Centre on Saturday afternoon

Your poop will cost Abbotsford and Mission $2.75 each year to truck into the Interior

The two municipalities will pay millions over the next five years to truck waste into the interior

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

Chilliwack’s Belle Voci brings three-day a cappella festival to Fraser Valley

Singers will learn from two of Lower Mainland’s best music leaders at Belle Voci A Cappella Festival

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read