Vice President Pence will travel to Canada next week to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and push for adoption of the Trump administration’s renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the White House announced Monday.
Pence will deliver joint remarks with Trudeau in Ottawa on May 30, with the two leaders focusing on trade. The visit comes just days after the U.S. reached a deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, removing a significant roadblock for congressional approval of the new NAFTA, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA).
“The USMCA is not only a huge economic boon to the U.S., but is a good deal for our allies north and south of the border,” Alyssa Farah, Pence’s press secretary, said in a statement Monday. “The Vice President looks forward to meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss how to move forward swiftly to advance this critical deal.”
Pence has traveled around the U.S. in recent weeks to meet with business leaders and rally support for the trade deal. He has delivered speeches in Minnesota, Virginia, Wisconsin and Florida to tout the benefits of the USMCA.
In remarks Monday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla., Pence called on Congress to pass the trade agreement “this summer.”
But the deal must win support from Democrats, who decide whether it will come up for a vote in the House. Party members, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have said all involved parties must tighten labor and environmental standards before passage in the U.S.
President Trump has repeatedly railed against the 1994 NAFTA, prior to and during his time in office, calling it “perhaps the worst trade deal ever made.” The U.S. reached an agreement with Mexico and Canada in October for a revised version, the USMCA.