Trump says he'll consider inviting Raptors to White House

Justin Trudeau

Trump says he'll consider inviting Raptors to White House

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to demonstrate a united front Thursday in the uphill effort to get a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement over the finish line.

After the meeting, Trudeau said he and Trump had an extended conversation about how China has detained two Canadians in retaliation for the arrest of the Huawei executive. And even though he held to his tough talk on tariffs, refusing to rule out using them in the future, he praised his North American neighbours for crafting an excellent new trade agreement.

Trudeau's one-day whirlwind visit to the US capital might also fix the two leaders' personal relationship, which fractured when Trump insulted Trudeau on Twitter a little more than year ago after departing a G7 summit in Quebec.

On the trade file, the new NAFTA or USMCA, still requires ratification by the USA and Canadian legislatures.

Trade will also be a big part of Trudeau's meeting with Trump as both countries look to ratify the new NAFTA, Trudeau said Wednesday.

In the withering cyber missive, Trump said the PM was "weak and dishonest" after Air Force One's departure, when Trudeau suggested Trump bullied him over trade.

Beijing detained ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor on December 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei.

American authorities are hunting for Ms Meng's extradition on suspicion of fraud and breaching USA sanctions on Iran.

Trudeau doesn't have a planned meeting with Xi, unlike Trump. "We're Canada's team", said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse.

Asked again, he replied "I would at Justin's request, I will absolutely".

And we're really competing against the world.

Trump may say that he and Trudeau are friends in front of the camera, but Trudeau's body language tells an entirely different story.

Canada has started the ratification process, with legislation making its way through Parliament.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he was confident there would be progress on ratification in "the next couple of weeks".

Some Democrats have also called for revisions to the deal. "But I think Nancy Pelosi's going to do the right thing".

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Canada was responsible for the problems between their two countries, and Canada is "very clear" about the reasons for this and knows what it has to do. It will be a positive day, I think, like usual.

Trump and Trudeau "instructed officials to develop a joint action plan on critical minerals collaboration", the White House statement said.

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