Mexican leader, US VP Pence to meet over ties, NAFTA talks

Mexican leader, US VP Pence to meet over ties, NAFTA talks

Shortly after arriving in Lima, Pence was to meet with Venezuelan opposition leaders.

The White House said on Tuesday that Trump had chose to call off his trip to Peru - which would have been his first trip to Latin America as president - to focus on Syria following a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Pena Nieto's office says in a statement that the meeting will take place Saturday morning in Lima, Peru, where the summit is taking place.

Cuba is present as in the meeting of peoples from the continent, an activity organized independently from the Summit of the Americas, that has taken place since 1998, when its first edition was held in Santiago de Chile.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales, left, shakes hands with Peru's President Martin Vizcarra, right, while Argentina's President Mauricio Macri, center, looks on during the group photo at Americas Summit in Lima, Peru, Saturday, April 14, 2018.

More than a dozen Latin American countries have also strongly criticized Maduro, accusing him of trampling upon democracy by sidelining the opposition and appointing a super-legislative body over the heads of the opposition-controlled National Assembly. He'll be subbing for President Donald Trump after the president pulled out of his first planned visit to Latin America to manage the US response to an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria. In the meantime, US Acting State Secretary John Sullivan met with top officials from several Latin America nations.

Ana Quintana, a senior policy analyst on Latin America and the Western Hemisphere for the Heritage Foundation, said Pence would seek to "continue the momentum" of USA policy on Venezuela.

Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday that the USA would submit a bid to host the next summit in 2021 in an apparent act to quell doubts about the nation's commitment to the region.

Pence's deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, says Pence called House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi before Trump's speech Friday night.

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Pence would likely also aim to counter China's attempt to exert more economic influence in the Americas at a time when the Trump administration has been embroiled in a trade dispute with Beijing.

That adds further tensions as the neighbors, along with Canada, work to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

That same day Trump tweeted that the US would only join the CPTPP, a multinational trade deal his administration walked away from past year, if it offered "substantially better" terms than those provided under previous TPP negotiations.

Richard Feinberg, a senior fellow in the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution, said it would be hard for the make a case to become the "preferential trading partner" as Trump seeks to upend trade agreements.

But Trump called the TPP a job-killer and withdrew the United States from the multilateral trade deal in one of his first acts as president.

"If it means reliable, predictable, Trump is the opposite", Feinberg said. "He's talking about higher trade barriers and tariffs".

Trump said on Thursday the NAFTA talks between Canada, Mexico and the USA were "coming along great" and "we're getting pretty close to a deal".

Vice President Mike Pence has told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the "encouraged" by the progress on negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement and hopeful it can lead to "more fair and reciprocal trade". -Mexican border in recent weeks.