US trade chief Lighthizer cancels trip to summit in Peru

Friday, 2018-04-13 00:47:38
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Police stand guard prior to the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru April 12, 2018. (Photo:Reuters)
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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has canceled his attendance at the Summit of the Americas in Peru starting on April 13, a USTR spokeswoman said on April 12, after President Donald Trump pulled out of the meeting earlier this week.

The move will leave Lighthizer's two NAFTA counterparts, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, to meet without him in Lima.

The three had been expected to discuss the progress of talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement at the end of a high-level negotiating round in Washington this week.

USTR spokeswoman Emily Davis said that Lighthizer will send Deputy USTR C.J. Mahoney to Lima in his place "due to a change in Ambassador Lighthizer’s schedule."

US Vice President Mike Pence, who is going in place of Trump, will meet separately with four leaders of major economies in the region – Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru, according to White House officials.

* Separately, the third Business Summit of the Americas was inaugurated on April 12 in Lima, Peru.

This business summit has gathered over 1,200 businessmen from across the continent and will conclude on April 13. It will provide recommendations to the heads of state and government participating in the Summit of the Americas to be held in Lima on April 13-14.

Reuters, Xinhua