Friday, 17 August, 2018

Pence says U.S. could possibly reach NAFTA deal

Cuban denounces in Lima forum Cubans denounced the hostile behavior present in the form of billboards and advertisements
Steven Clarke | 16 April, 2018, 04:21

US Vice President Mike Pence abruptly skipped an official banquet in Peru late Friday ahead of a summit with Latin American leaders, as President Donald Trump announced he had ordered air strikes on Syria.

Hours after Trump hailed the missile strike targeting the Syria's suspected chemical weapons - tweeting, "Mission Accomplished!"

He has said if he's not happy with the terms, then he'll pull the USA out.

Jarrod Agen, Pence's deputy chief of staff and communications director, said Pence left the opening ceremony for the Summit of the Americas to place phone calls to Congressional leadership. And with tensions simmering over trade, Pence expressed hope alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the three nations could soon agree to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.

The United States, France and Britain were all taking part in the strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime.

For Pence, the calls and schedule changes served as the latest example of his supporting role here in place of Trump, who pulled out of the summit so he could manage the US response to the suspected chemical attack in Syria. "Our message to Russian Federation is that you're on the wrong side of history", Pence said.

Pence is departing for the Summit of the Americas in Lima on Friday.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday told the business leaders that under the right conditions the U.S. would reconsider joining the TPP, despite Trump's earlier decision to back away from an initial deal. Pence watched Trump's speech from his hotel suite, joined by aides.

Pence is in Lima for an global summit.

Starbucks CEO calls arrest of two black men at Philadelphia store 'reprehensible'
A manager called police after the men declined to leave the premises because, they said, they were waiting for an acquaintance. One of the videos of the arrest rocketed across social media, with more than 9 million views.

In meeting after meeting, Pence offered a low-key, extended hand.

The move came shortly before President Donald Trump is expected to address the USA on Friday night amid anticipation of a retaliatory strike for a Syrian chemical weapons attack last weekend.

Trump and Pena Nieto have yet to meet in person since Trump became president a year ago.

Pence said they simply had a difference of opinion and some issues were "set aside, for a later date".

Pence met with Julio Borges, a Venezuelan opposition lawmaker and former speaker of the National Assembly, David Smolansky, former mayor of the city of El Hatillo, Carlos Vecchio, political coordinator of the Popular Will party he co-founded with opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, and Antonio Ledezma, former mayor of Caracas.

Vice President Mike Pence says there's a "real possibility" the USA could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement "within the next several weeks".

Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump directed the deployment of National Guard troops to the U.S. -Mexico border to combat illegal migration and drug smuggling.

The summit also gave Pence an opportunity to press the case for tougher sanctions and more isolation of Venezuela across the region.

The high-level gathering in Lima on Friday and Saturday is expected to focus in part on the crisis in Venezuela and regional measures to further isolate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his administration.

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