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Trudeau takes a pass on meeting this week with Trump, Lopez Obrador

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to the podium for a news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Thursday, June 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking a pass on a meeting this week with U.S. President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Trudeau’s office says he wishes the two countries and their leaders well but Trudeau will remain in Ottawa for a cabinet retreat and a scheduled sitting of Parliament.

Lopez Obrador is travelling to D.C. in part to celebrate the entry-into-force of the new North American free-trade deal and had expressed hope Trudeau would join as well.

Trudeau’s office says the prime minister will continue to work with both countries to ensure the agreement becomes a success and helps ensure North America emerges stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau had been asked last week whether he’d attend the meeting, and had not mentioned either Parliament or the retreat as reasons not to go.

At the time, he did cite concerns about recent musings by Americans about tariffs on aluminum.