US & Canada

Canada in the news: Nafta gets 11th hour reprieve

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Media captionDairy wars: Why is Trump threatening Canada over milk?

Trade war, what trade war?

"It has been a bad week for Canada-US relations," US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross declared on Monday.

If his statement seemed prematurely negative at the start of the week, by now it appears remarkably prescient after Trump nearly cancelled the North American Free Trade Agreement.

To recap: President Donald Trump has slapped an overall 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, has gone on the offensive about Canada's dairy industry and spent a good 24 hours on a will-he-or-won't-he-cancel-Nafta roller coaster.

The trade attacks prompted Justin Trudeau to call up the American president two days in a row. The telephone diplomacy seems to have worked, as Mr Trump says phone calls from both Trudeau and Mexico's president Enrique Peña Nieto convinced him to change his mind.

As of Thursday morning, Mr Trump has said he won't scrap Nafta "at this time", provided Canada and Mexico agree to renegotiate ASAP.

Another election? Oui

France's presidential election isn't over, but it just got a lot smaller. Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in a run-off on 7 May, after both candidates failed to take a clear majority in Sunday's election.

Mr Macron - a moderate who heads a new movement called En Marche! - took 24% of the vote, while Ms Le Pen, representing the National Front, took 22%.

She has since resigned from her position as leader of her party to focus on the election.

Mr Macron has been hailed as a young, unconventional upstart who could shake up French political scene, while the right-wing Ms Le Pen has gained support for her anti-immigration and anti-EU views.

Senate field trip

In an unusual move, all 100 US senators were invited to travel by bus from Capitol Hill to the White House to attend a briefing on North Korea.

Later, the White House announced it will tighten sanctions on anyone doing business with North Korea and use diplomatic measures to get China to pressure North Korea to drop its nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, China has launched a new aircraft carrier in the latest sign of its growing military strength. Not to be outdone, a US commander says America's advanced missile defence system in South Korea is meant to bring Kim Jong-un "to his senses, not to his knees".

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