September 12, 2018 / 3:40 PM / 7 months ago

Deputy USTR Shea to represent U.S. at G20 trade ministers meeting

Dennis Shea U.S. Ambassador to the WTO arrives for the General Council meeting at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deputy US Trade Representative Dennis Shea will represent the United States at a Group of 20 trade ministers meeting in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on Friday, the USTR office said on Wednesday.

Shea, who serves as the U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, “will promote President (Donald) Trump’s priorities for free, fair and reciprocal trade, particularly the need to address non-market oriented policies,” USTR said in a statement.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Tuesday for negotiations toward a new North American Free Trade Agreement. Shea’s attendance at the G20 meeting would likely free up Lighthizer for further talks this week in Washington if they are scheduled.

A USTR spokeswoman could not be immediately reached for comment on whether additional ministerial-level NAFTA talks would be held on Thursday or Friday.

The USTR office said Shea will also hold several bilateral meetings with key trading partners, but did not specify those countries.

The G20 includes the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United States.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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