Trudeau spurns Trump’s summit with Mexican president

Trudeau previously said he was not sure about attending, citing tensions over possible US tariffs. (AFP pic)

MEXICO CITY: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not attend talks in Washington this week to mark the start of a new North American trade deal, but Mexico’s president said the two will talk by telephone later on Monday morning.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is due to meet US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday, on his first trip outside of Mexico since taking office.

Lopez Obrador had publicly urged Trudeau to join him in Washington.

The Canadian leader will be attending cabinet meetings and a sitting of parliament in Ottawa, his office said in a statement.

“We wish the United States and Mexico well at Wednesday’s meeting,” the statement said, noting that there had been discussions about the possible participation of Canada.

Trudeau previously said he was not sure about attending, citing tensions over possible US tariffs on Canadian aluminium.

Lopez Obrador on Monday told reporters Trudeau was invited to Mexico and that they would speak at around 9.30am local time.

The Canadian statement did not mention the telephone call.

Lopez Obrador added that he will do a coronavirus test before leaving Mexico, and was prepared to do another in the United States if he was required to do so.