In this June 8, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a G7 Summit welcome ceremony in Charlevoix, Canada. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo, File)

Trudeau travels to Washington next week for meeting with Trump

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is travelling to Washington next week for talks with President Donald Trump, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Thursday.

During their meeting on June 20, the two leaders will discuss the ratification of the new North American free trade deal and “will also exchange views on efforts to resolve outstanding trade issues.”

Canada, the United States and Mexico signed a renewed North American free trade pact on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires last November.

Once ratified by the legislatures in all three countries, the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

In addition, ahead of the upcoming G20 Osaka Summit, Trudeau and Trump will discuss China’s detention of two Canadian citizens.

Chinese officials say Canadians Michael Kovrig, right, and Michael Spavor were arrested for undermining Chinese ‘national security,’ while Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested ‘illegally’ in Canada upon U.S. request (Associated Press/ International Crisis Group/Canadian Press)

Former diplomat Michael Kovring and entrepreneur Michael Spavor were detained separately by Chinese authorities on Dec. 10, days after Canadian officials arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, at the request of U.S. authorities.

Beijing’s arrest of Kovrig and Spavor has been seen as retaliation for Canada’s detention of Meng.

Kovrig and Spavor have been accused of acting together to steal state secrets and could be sentenced to death if convicted.

China is demanding Meng’s immediate release and has called on the U.S. to withdraw the extradition request and stop the “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese companies.

Huawei chief financial Meng Wanzhou is out on bail awaiting a court hearing on her extradition to the U.S. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press/March 6, 2019)

The U.S. accuses Meng, Huawei, a U.S. subsidiary and telecom equipment seller Skycom of committing bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges are linked to possible violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Meng and Huawei vigorously deny the charges and say the extradition request for the scion of the Chinese industry is part of a politically motivated fight against growing Chinese economic and technological prowess.

The Liberal government has rallied its allies to drum up support for Canada in its diplomatic row with China.

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