Trump discusses trade with Trudeau at White House

President says he will do 'anything' he can to help two Canadians detained in China

U.S. President Donald Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday at the White House, where the two leaders discussed a number of issues, including the new North American trade deal.

Trump and Trudeau agreed that the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is “a historic agreement that dramatically improves trading opportunities that are mutually beneficial for the countries of North America,” said a White House statement.

The agreement is currently stuck in Congress amid fighting between Republicans and Democrats, so the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which the USMCA is supposed to replace, will remain in effect.

The two leaders also discussed cooperation in border management in both countries, including a new agreement to extend pre-clearance for travelers in facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Another item they said they would discuss is China’s detention of two Canadians on espionage charges.

Last December, Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. government. Washington wants her on alleged charges that she and Huawei violated U.S. sanctions on Iran by doing surreptitious business with Tehran.

The Chinese promptly arrested two Canadians in response – businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig — and charged them with spying.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he would do “anything” to help the two Canadians.

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