Pence: US prepared to respond to possible retaliation by Syria

Pence: US prepared to respond to possible retaliation by Syria

Vice President Mike Pence says there's a "real possibility" the USA could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement "within the next several weeks".

"I'll leave this summit very hopeful that we are very close to a renegotiated NAFTA", and "there is a real possibility that we could arrive at an agreement within the next several weeks", Pence told reporters at the Summit of the Americas in Lima.

The comments restore some more optimism on Nafta after U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this week canceled a trip to Peru where Nafta could have been discussed further, and said he could let trade talks go on indefinitely because it would deter companies from investing there.

Richard PenceWhy the Summit of the Americas is better off without Trump US needs to respect Latin American leadership on Venezuela crisis Pence endorses challenger in Texas congressional primary runoff MORE on Friday pledged nearly $16 million in humanitarian aid for Venezuelans who have fled a deepening economic and political crisis in the country.

While the crisis in Syria was front and centre, Trudeau and Pence also expressed optimism about the state of NAFTA negotiations, the results of which will have dramatic ramifications for the US and Canada.

Trudeau also said the NAFTA talks had reached a "positive momentum". He learned only Tuesday that he would be attending in Trump's place so the president could manage the USA response to Syria.

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"The United States is ready to respond, to defend our forces", Pence said.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says in a statement that its team will stick to its plan to investigate last weekend's suspected poison gas attack in Douma. He was sworn in after Peru's congress voted to accept the resignation of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski after a corruption scandal.

Pence, however, justified the attack by merely stating that the U.S. did not act alone, claiming that other leaders at the Latin American summit had both publicly and privately expressed support for the Syria bombardment.

But Pence, who is attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru, said that other leaders at the gathering had both publicly and privately expressed support for the allied strikes on Syria.

On Friday, auto industry executives said USA trade negotiators significantly softened their demands to increase regional automotive content under a reworked NAFTA trade pact in an effort to seal a deal in the next few weeks.

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