Politics This Morning: Trudeau to meet with Nieto in Mexico; Morneau in D.C.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, left, during his visit to Mexico, which starts today. The two are pictured speaking in Ottawa in June 2016.The Hill Times photograph by Sam Garcia

PUBLISHED :Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 10:50 PM

Good Thursday morning,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Mexico City as he continues his tour of Canada’s continental trading partners.

Mr. Trudeau will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today to discuss trade, regional cooperation, and “ways to further strengthen Canada-Mexico ties” during the two-day trip to the country, according to his office. It’s Mr. Trudeau’s first official visit to Mexico as prime minister.

He’s expected to arrive in Mexico City at noon, along with his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Shortly after arriving, the Trudeaus will make their way to the Altar of the Nation at Chapultepec Park to lay a wreath before visiting the Mexican Red Cross Headquarters. Central Mexico was rocked by a devastating earthquake earlier this month that killed hundreds of people.

  

At 3:15 p.m., Mr. Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, and International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will participate in a roundtable discussion with civil society leaders. The prime minister will then head to the Palacio Nacional, the Mexican president’s official residence, at 5:10 p.m., where he will be welcomed with military honours. Mr. Trudeau will meet Mr. Nieto there at 5:40 p.m., before an expanded bilateral meeting featuring Ms. Freeland and Ms. Champagne starts at 6 p.m.

A press availability for the two leaders is scheduled for 7:45 p.m., with an official dinner to begin some 45 minutes later, also in the Palacio Nacional.

The visit comes as the fourth round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement continue in Washington, D.C., where Mr. Trudeau spent the past two days, meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

The office of the United States Trade Representative announced yesterday that negotiations on the competition chapter of NAFTA have ended, and that the fourth round of talks would be extended three days until Oct. 17.

  

However, during a media appearance alongside Mr. Trudeau in the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Trump sent mixed signals on the fate of NAFTA, saying in response to questions about the state of negotiations “we’ll see what happens,” and cautioning that “it’s possible we won’t be able to make a deal and it’s possible we will.”

Keeping with Washington, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is visiting the U.S. capital today for a series of meetings with international counterparts.

At 8 a.m., Mr. Morneau is chairing a meeting of Commonwealth Finance Ministers at the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He will stay there for a noontime appearance in a CNN debate on the global economy that will also feature IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, amongst others.

Finally, just after 7 p.m., Mr. Morneau will take part in a working dinner with the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, also at the IMF building.

  

And speaking of the continental trade deal, Liberal MP Matt DeCourcey, the parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, is hosting a town hall on NAFTA renegotiations in his hometown of Fredericton, N.B. It starts at 5:30 p.m. (Atlantic time) at the University of New Brunswick.  

Moving out west, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is making two announcements about the government’s superclusters initiative today, likely revealing the next slate of finalists for the $950-million scheme to create mini-Silicon Valleys across the country in fields Canada possesses a natural advantage.

The first announcement is scheduled for 8 a.m. (Mountain time) at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, while the second one comes at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific time) at the BC Tech Cube in Vancouver.

Elsewhere, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi is announcing new funding for research equipment at the University of Alberta in Edmonton at 10:30 a.m. (Mountain time), while Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu is talking skills training funding in Antigonish, N.S. at 11:15 a.m. (Atlantic time). She’ll be making another announcement on skills training at Millbrook First Nation, also in Nova Scotia, at 3:30 p.m. local time.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is also out east, visiting the Université de Moncton this morning to meet researchers working on arthritis for World Arthritis Day. She’s also expected to meet with researchers working on other topics including cancer and metabolism during her visit, set to start at 9:30 a.m. (Atlantic time)

Meanwhile, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is spending the day in Ireland, where she will participate as a panelist for a discussion on climate risk in Dublin.

Back in Canada, former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin is sitting down with Indigo Books and Music co-founder Heather Reisman in Toronto to discuss the state of Canada-U.S. relations and his time in office. The two will also be joined by Scott Reid, editor of the newly released book Faith and Goodwill: 150 Years of Canada-U.S. Friendship, produced by the Canadian-American Business Council. The event will take place at Indigo Bay and Bloor in downtown Toronto from 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

And finally, happy birthday to Liberal Senator Joan Fraser.

Have a great day!