Canada opposes the idea of the United States imposing new border tariffs and would respond to any such move, the country’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said on Wednesday after her first meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson’s meeting with Freeland, and a separate meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, at the State Department touched on the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Donald Trump wants to renegotiate.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, Freeland said she made clear in the meeting with Tillerson that Canada would oppose the idea of border tariffs on Canadian goods in upcoming NAFTA talks.
“If such an idea were ever to come into being, Canada would respond appropriately,” she told reporters on a conference call, stressing that Ottawa did not yet know what the U.S. opening position would be.
Both Canada and Mexico send the bulk of their exports to the United States and could be crippled by major changes to NAFTA, which Trump has called “a disaster.”
Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said that Videgaray discussed migration and security issues in his meetings with Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.
Both Tillerson and Videgaray said they would keep working on solutions to their public “differences,” it added. Videgaray also told Kelly that the human rights of Mexicans in the United States was important, the statement said.
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