Deputy Prime Minister Freeland en route to Mexico to discuss CUSMA: source

Click to play video: 'Trudeau says government ‘hopeful’ for CUSMA ratification'
Trudeau says government ‘hopeful’ for CUSMA ratification
WATCH: Trudeau says government 'hopeful' for CUSMA ratification – Dec 9, 2019

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is on her way to Mexico Monday evening for meetings related to the Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade deal, Global News has learned.

“In the lives of ordinary Canadians, there is perhaps no issue in our relationship with the United States that matters more than trade,” she said earlier on Monday during question period.

Last week, Freeland had said she has been working closely with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Mexico’s deputy foreign minister in a bid to find a solution.

On Monday, she departed for Mexico, for meetings with Lighthizer and Mexican officials on CUSMA.

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This news comes the same day that U.S. House Democrats reached a tentative agreement with labour leaders and the White House, according to The Associated Press, who cited an anonymous Democratic aide.

Click to play video: 'NATO summit: Trudeau ‘looking forward’ to ratification of CUSMA'
NATO summit: Trudeau ‘looking forward’ to ratification of CUSMA

“I’m hearing very good things, including from unions and others that it’s looking good. I hope they put it up to a vote, and if they put it up to a vote, it’s going to pass,” Trump said earlier Monday.

“I’m hearing a lot of strides have been made over the last 24 hours, with unions and others.”

Later Monday evening, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expected the final language of the deal to be set by Tuesday, bringing Democrats to a “moment of truth” on whether to proceed to passage.

“We’re close. We’re not quite finished yet, we’re within range,” Pelosi told a forum of chief executives.

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When asked for updates on whether NAFTA would be ratified immediately on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that the government is hard at work on the issue.

“We continue to be working hard and hopefully we’ll get to ratification soon,” he said Monday.

Click to play video: 'Freeland says Canada respects Mexico and U.S. domestic ratification process'
Freeland says Canada respects Mexico and U.S. domestic ratification process

CUSMA was signed in November last year, but formal approval by the U.S. was held up by Democratic lawmakers who urged the Trump administration for changes.

The agreement would replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which eliminated most tariffs and other trade barriers involving the three countries.

With files by The Associated Press, Reuters


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