Pompeo speaks with Canadian foreign minister after tensions at G-7 Summit

Pompeo speaks with Canadian foreign minister after tensions at G-7 Summit
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard Pompeo2 US service members killed in Afghanistan after Pompeo visit The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? State Department need not be at odds with itself on Republic of Cyprus policy MORE spoke on Saturday to Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, marking the first conversation between the two top diplomats since a tensions flared between President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week.

During a call between the two officials, Pompeo and Freeland discussed the U.S. and Canada's cooperation on addressing a mounting political and economic crisis in Venezuela, as well as the two countries' commitments to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, according to a read out of the conversation provided by the State Department

The two also discussed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the U.S., Canada and Mexico have struggled for months to renegotiate. 

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Trump has repeatedly threatened to abandon the trilateral trade pact, insisting that the current deal is unfair to the U.S.

Trudeau scrapped a planned trip to Washington to finalize a new deal last month after Vice President Pence demanded that any agreement expire after five years.

The discussion between Pompeo and Freeland also came a week after Trump sparred with foreign leaders at the Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Canada over his administration's decision to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. 

Those tariffs were widely condemned by some of the United States's closest allies, prompting Trump to issue a seeming ultimatum to the group of industrialized nations: Reduce trade barriers on the U.S. or risk losing access to the world's largest economy.

Speaking at the G-7 summit hours after Trump departed for Singapore, Trudeau rebuffed the U.S. tariffs and insisted that Canada would "not be bullied" by Washington. In response, Trump lashed out at Trudeau as "weak" and "dishonest," and announced the U.S. would not endorse a joint communique with the other G-7 leaders, as is customary.

On Monday, Pompeo waved off concerns that tensions at the G-7 summit would disrupt the U.S.'s ability to work with key allies, insisting that "there are always irritants in relationships."

"I'm unconcerned about our capacity to continue to do what we need to do," he said.