Pence to take hard line on Venezuela, promote trade

The Latest: Canada leader lauds Pacific trade pact | The News Tribune

US pledges additional $16 million to help Venezuelan exiles

Trudeau's trip to Peru is focused on drumming up investment in Canada and the prime minister is expected to play the role of salesman-in-chief by addressing participants of the III CEO Summit of the Americas "Invest in Canada" session, PMO officials said.

In his absence, he said he and Pence, who was picked by Trump to lead the US delegation and is the administration's main envoy to the region, would work with leaders to take tougher action on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who at the USA administration's urging was the only Western Hemisphere leader barred from the gathering.

Shortly after arriving, Pence met with Venezuelan opposition figures at the USA ambassador's residence in Lima, including the former president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, and former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma. Trump himself will not attend it.

The event is held every three or four years under the aegis of the Organization of American States (OAS) since 1994 for high-level talks on regional issues and to collectively address the major challenges facing the bloc.

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Pence says he will be calling on US allies to provide additional humanitarian aid during the Summit of the Americas in Lima.

The vice president is to sit down with several Latin American leaders, including Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra and Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

US Vice President Mike Pence met with Venezuelan opposition figures Friday shortly after he arrived in Peru ahead of a summit with Latin American leaders, reporters traveling with him said. How ironic that today the US president is disfiguring the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the argument that Mexico takes unfair advantage of the United States!

It will be the first meeting between the two leaders.

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Shortly after arriving in Lima, Pence said the USA would provide almost $16 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuelans who have fled their country and met with opposition leaders who pleaded for more sanctions.

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. "If preferred means lowering trade barriers, Trump is the opposite of that".

The U.S. president has been pushing a tougher line on immigration and seeking stronger protections along the U.S.

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