OTTAWA (Reuters) – New Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Friday said she had pressed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on two major irritants ahead of a North American leaders’ summit next week.
Canada is particularly concerned about proposed U.S. electric vehicle tax credits for American-built vehicles, which Ottawa says would hurt the integrated continental auto industry and put thousands of jobs at risk.
“We will continue to make sure that this is well-known throughout the administration but also throughout Congress … I am doing my part in making sure I raise it with Secretary Blinken, all levels of government are doing so,” Joly said.
“Canadians know we have to defend our interests and we can never take anything for granted,” she told a televised news conference in Washington after her first meeting with Blinken since being appointed late last month.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to bring up the tax credits issue when he meets with U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador next week at the so-called Three Amigos summit.
Joly said she had also raised the question of Enbridge Inc’s Line 5 pipeline, which the state of Michigan wants to close on environmental grounds. Blinken had been supportive, Joly said, but she did not give details.
Canada last month invoked a 1977 treaty with the United States to trigger bilateral negotiations over the matter. The White House says it had no plans to shut down the line.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Grant McCool)