National Newswatch
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NAFTA talks will be wide open, says Trump’s commerce nominee Wilbur Ross

Jan 18 2017 — Robert Fife — Every aspect of the North American free-trade agreement will be on the negotiating table, and any final agreement should contain an automatic measure to reopen the deal later to address further issues, Donald Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary said on Wednesday. Billionaire turnaround specialist Wilbur Ross told a Senate confirmation hearing that reopening the 1994 […]

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Canada given advance notice of Trump’s NAFTA demands

Jan 18 2017 — Robert Fife — Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, chosen by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to reshape U.S. trade policy, has informed Canada that rules of origin and independent dispute tribunals will be central to talks aimed at resetting the North American free-trade agreement. Canadian officials say the nominee for commerce secretary has indicated a formal-notification letter to open negotiations […]

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Trudeau promotes former general Andrew Leslie to forge closer ties with U.S.

Jan 17 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will name retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie to the cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations in an effort to forge closer ties with former military commanders that are playing leading roles in president-elect Donald Trump’s administration. A senior official told The Globe and Mail that Mr. Trudeau is also reassigning some of his […]

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Russia hints it could lift Freeland ban

Jan 11 2017 — Robert Fife — Russia has opened the door to lifting a travel ban on Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland if Canada removes economic sanctions and visa bans against Moscow over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. The Russian news agency Sputnik quoted an unidentified Russian Foreign Ministry official as saying the travel ban on Ms. Freeland will remain […]

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Freeland tasked by Trudeau to negotiate with Trump administration

Jan 11 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made Chrystia Freeland the new foreign affairs minister, giving her total control of U.S. relations and the challenge of stickhandling the America-first trade policy of incoming president Donald Trump. Mr. Trudeau shuffled his cabinet Tuesday in a move that saw him demote underperformers and promote a trio of rookie MPs […]

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Trudeau to shuffle cabinet before Trump inauguration

Jan 9 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in the midst of planning a cabinet shake-up as the Liberal government gears up for the challenge of dealing with an unpredictable Donald Trump presidency and his espousal of protectionist policies. Mr. Trudeau and top advisers have been meeting over the past week on the design of the new cabinet […]

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PMO held talks with Trump team to avert trade war

Jan 9 2017 — Robert Fife — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted lieutenants have held talks with top advisers to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in an attempt to avert a costly trade war between the neighbouring nations. Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts, chief of staff Katie Telford and Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, have met several times […]

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Ottawa offers to renegotiate NAFTA in effort to warm ties with Trump

Nov 10 2016 — Robert Fife — The federal government has offered to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement, a gesture of goodwill to Donald Trump as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to work “very closely” with the incoming president to foster greater continental prosperity. Mr. Trump campaigned on upgrading the 1994 trade pact during the election and vowed to tear up […]

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Stéphane Dion apologizes to Alison Azer for thumbs-down gesture

Oct 7 2016 — Robert Fife — Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has apologized to Alison Azer – the mother of four children abducted by their Iranian-Kurdish father – for making a thumbs-down gesture when her case was raised in the House of Commons on Thursday. “I am sorry that some interpreted it to be directed at Madame Azer. It was obviously […]

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G20 leaders privately share economic fears about Trump

Sep 28 2016 — Robert Fife — Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau and some of his G20 counterparts have privately exchanged concerns about the impact on international financial markets and the potential harm to the fragile global economy of a Donald Trump presidency. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has held similar worried discussions with world leaders, including Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and […]

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Ottawa to negotiate extradition treaty with China

Sep 20 2016 — Robert Fife — Ottawa has agreed to negotiate a bilateral extradition treaty with China – a move that took place a day before jailed Canadian missionary Kevin Garratt was ordered deported from the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security adviser met a high-ranking Chinese official in Beijing last Monday to hold talks on the issue, which a […]