Canada’s PM talks tough on NAFTA, repeats he could walk away

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the crowd during a town hall meeting at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, February 2, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 03 February 2018

Canada’s PM talks tough on NAFTA, repeats he could walk away

NANAIMO, British Columbia: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a tough line on NAFTA on Friday, repeating that he could walk away if he was not happy with talks to modernize a pact the United States contends needs major changes.
“The negotiations are complex and challenging ... I’ve said many times, we are not going to take any old deal,” Trudeau told a sometimes raucous town hall event in the Pacific province of British Columbia. “Canada is willing to walk away from NAFTA if the United States proposes a bad deal.”
“We will not be pushed around. At the same time we can remain confident about NAFTA,” he said, adding that if Washington walked away from the deal it would be “extremely harmful and disruptive” to both the United States and Canada.
Canada and Mexico are striving to address US demands for NAFTA reform, which they argue threaten the highly integrated North American economy.
On Monday, a senior US trade official rejected proposals for unblocking the negotiations but pledged to seek “breakthroughs,” easing concerns that Washington would soon withdraw from the $1.2 trillion North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trudeau said he did not think US President Donald Trump would pull out of NAFTA, despite slow progress at the talks.
During the town hall event Trudeau was interrupted by hecklers angry that his Liberal government approved a plan by Kinder Morgan Canada to increase the capacity of an oil pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia.
Police removed at least three demonstrators, who complained the risk of a spill was too great to allow the project to continue. Trudeau repeated that the pipeline would be built.


Four killed in India clash ahead of Trump arrival

A man supporting a new citizenship law throws a stone at those who are opposing the law, during a clash in New Delhi, India, February 24, 2020. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 min 3 sec ago

Four killed in India clash ahead of Trump arrival

  • The new law has raised worries abroad — including in Washington — that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to remold secular India into a Hindu nation while marginalizing the country’s 200 million Muslims, a claim he denies

NEW DELHI: A policeman was among at least four people killed in New Delhi on Monday during violent clashes over a contentious citizenship law, local media said, hours before US President Donald Trump arrived in the Indian capital for an official visit.
Protesters torched at least two houses and shops before later setting a tire market on fire, the Press Trust of India said. Local TV channels showed plumes of black smoke billowing from buildings.
One video posted on social media showed crowds of men shouting “Jai Shree Ram” or “Hail Lord Ram,” a revered Hindu deity, as they went on a rampage.
Protests have broken out across India since the citizenship law came into force in December, leaving at least 30 people killed in clashes with police. Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims.
The new law has raised worries abroad — including in Washington — that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to remold secular India into a Hindu nation while marginalizing the country’s 200 million Muslims, a claim he denies.
The latest unrest erupted between several hundred supporters and opponents of the law in a Muslim-dominated area of northeast Delhi on Sunday, and continued Monday.
A constable died after receiving a critical head injury, while another senior officer was among the injured.
Local media said three civilians also died and many people were hurt.
“Please renounce violence. Nobody benefits from this. All problems will be solved by peace,” Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted that schools in the capital’s northeast would be shut on Tuesday and exams postponed.
Trump arrived in the western state of Gujarat on Monday and addressed about 100,000 people at a rally with Modi before he visited the Taj Mahal monument in Agra.
Later Monday the US president landed in Delhi before official talks in the city on Tuesday.
A senior US official told reporters that Trump would raise concerns about religious freedom in the Hindu-majority nation during the trip, calling them “extremely important to this administration.”