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

QC food bank needs cash

Feed the People program shuts down for month of May

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘shoe house’ in Northern B.C.

A rare look inside the famous Kitseguecla Lake Road shoe house, with a tour led by owner Toby Walsh

Thieves steal five of Seven Dwarves ornaments honouring B.C. couple’s late son

For the second time in a year, several garden ornaments stolen from Cloverdale family’s front garden

Child, 11, accidentally shot in the chest at Alberta religious colony

Child taken from Hutterite colony to nearby hospital

Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

Many of those who helped that day — first responders and Good Samaritans alike — still affected

Case of man charged in fatal Salmon Arm church shooting adjourned until May

Matrix Savage Gathergood charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault

RCMP looking to retrace steps of woman found dead on Kelowna beach

Caitlin Midori Bradley, a 29-year-old dancer at a Kelowna bar, was originally from Surrey

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read