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

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

One staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at Maple Ridge Seniors Village. (Google)
Outbreak declared over at Maple Ridge Senior’s Village

This is the second COVID-19 outbreak for the long-term-care facility

The slide happened in November of 2018. (Special to The News)
Slippery slope has Albion community centre neighbours upset

City’s excavations caused landslide on neighbouring property

Cathy Barrington plays the drums and sings with various jazz and blues bands. But she is known in the school district as the singing secretary. (Special to The News)
Singing secretary at Maple Ridge elementary school leaves on a high note

Cathy Barrington, whose rendition of At Last went viral online, has retired

Lance Andre is the GM of the Maple Ridge Burrards WLA team. (The News files)
Maple Ridge Burrards plan to ‘go local’ in upcoming draft

WLA announces draft will be held online Feb. 11

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read