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Trump Offers Help for Canadians Held in China

Updated: June 20, 2019 02:21 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is offering to intervene on Canada's behalf to bring up the plight of two Canadians held in China when he meets with China's president Xi Jinping next week.

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Trump is meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and was asked Thursday by reporters if he would discuss the Canadian detainees when meeting with Xi.

"I would, at Justin's request. I will absolutely bring it up," Trump said. He added that "anything I can do to help Canada I will be doing."

Beijing detained ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei. She was arrested Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities who want her to face fraud charges.

Meanwhile, Trump and Trudeau were also expected to discuss trade during the visit.

At Trump's insistence, the U.S., Canada and Mexico agreed to an update of the decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement among their countries.

Mexico this week became the first of the three nations to ratify the agreement.

In the U.S., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to schedule a vote on the pact, insisting that changes are needed to win her support.

Trump says the USMCA is a "phenomenal deal" for America. The administration would like lawmakers to approve it before the end of the year.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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