Canada's Trudeau to visit the White House Monday

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 10 2017 02:50 PM

 

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump will host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Washington on Monday, the White House said, amid stark disagreements between the North American neighbors over trade and immigration.

"President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau look forward to a constructive conversation on strengthening the relationship between our two nations," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement.

Trump has vowed to renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, the United States and Mexico. The new Republican president has branded the pact a "catastrophe" for American jobs.

Trudeau, a fervent supporter of free trade, meanwhile has emphasized the importance of the tripartite pact for his country's economy.

"Strong Canada-US ties help the middle class in both our countries. Monday, I'll meet @RealDonaldTrump in DC to keep working for that goal," Trudeau said on Twitter. 

The Canadian prime minister will be the third foreign leader to visit the White House since Trump took office on January 20, after Britain's Theresa May and Japan's Shinzo Abe. 

Trudeau has expressed vastly different views to Trump on immigration, stressing Canada's desire to host refugees. He has not commented publicly on Trump's controversial immigration order, currently under review in the US courts.

The pair agree on the massive Keystone XL pipeline project, which would carry oil from Canadian tar sands to US Gulf Coast refineries. The project had been blocked by former president Barack Obama, but has been given the green light by Trump.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland was in Washington on Wednesday to meet new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and their Mexican counterpart Luis Videgaray.