Trudeau plans to meet with Trump in Washington this month

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Ontario

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Ontario

China ignored Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's personal request for dialogue to end a spiralling diplomatic row, his office revealed Wednesday.

"The two leaders will discuss key global challenges, including China's wrongful detention of two Canadian citizens", according to Trudeau's office.

Relations between the two leaders have improved in recent months since hitting a low in June 2018 after Trump insulted Trudeau in the wake of a Group of Seven summit in Canada.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Thursday dismissed a suggestion that Ottawa block the extradition of a top executive from China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to the United States, saying it would set a unsafe precedent.

The disclosure comes amid growing domestic calls for Trudeau to step up pressure on China to release the two Canadians, whom his government has said were arbitrarily detained.

Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested on US fraud charges in Vancouver last December, will challenge Washington's extradition request at hearings that are set to begin next January.

"I look forward to meeting with President Trump to discuss the ratification of the new NAFTA, and how we can continue to strengthen our vital trade and economic partnership", Trudeau said in the statement announcing the visit.

Tensions eased last month after the United States lifted tariffs it had imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum exports in 2018, citing national security grounds.

Canadian government sources have said the House could be recalled after its summer recess, in a last session before the October federal election, to deal with ratifying the new NAFTA if the U.S. Congress doesn't deal with the matter promptly. Some Democrats have said they want to see stronger provisions on labour and environmental standards in Mexico but that country's lawmakers have approved a new labour-reform law that has won plaudits in Ottawa and among many other lawmakers in Washington.

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