Justin Trudeau heads to San Francisco for APEC summit – National

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is traveling to California for three days of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in San Francisco.

Trudeau will meet on Wednesday with California Governor Gavin Newsom, a longtime liberal-minded ally in the fight against climate change.

Officials say he will attend an APEC reception hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden later in the day before a welcome dinner with technology executives.

Biden sits down with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday in a bid to defuse a year of international tensions, a meeting widely seen as the focal point of the summit.

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Reports suggest the two leaders are working on a deal to resume bilateral military communications and keep artificial intelligence out of their respective nuclear defense systems.

Trudeau, meanwhile, will aim for tangible progress on policy priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, during bilateral meetings with other APEC leaders.

Federal officials say at least two bilateral economic initiatives with key Indo-Pacific partners will be on Canada’s list of “deliverables.”

The absence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also makes drama around Trudeau’s allegations of a link between Indian government agents and the June shooting death of a prominent Sikh leader in British Columbia unlikely.

“Modi is not here, so India is not here,” said Andreas Schotter, an a*sociate professor of business at Western University.

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“It has been reported that this gives the Prime Minister a chance to avoid discussion on the issue, but I don’t think that is a good thing. I think a meeting would have been better than avoiding it.

There is still a lot of important work for Canada to do at APEC, officials say: it is essential to be at the table in a part of the world where the decisions that are made are likely to affect Canadians for generations.

Trudeau’s main goals include closer collaboration with APEC countries that will foster middle-cla*s growth and healthy regional competition, all with the aim of advancing the fight against climate change.

Officials say Trudeau will encourage new Canadian efforts aimed at fostering more efficient food production and healthier supply chains, as well as removing trade barriers with Pacific nations.

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The region accounts for about half of global merchandise trade and is the destination for more than 88 percent of Canadian exports. APEC’s merchandise exports and imports now both exceed US$12 trillion annually.

Canada’s share of that pie reached $1.3 trillion last year, an increase of 22 percent, thanks to partners such as the United States, China, Mexico, Japan, Korea South and Vietnam.

The summit comes a year after the Liberal government launched a new $2.3 billion Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at strengthening regional alliances to guard against China’s expansive power.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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