Canadian Foreign Minister Joe Clark said yesterday that Canada will permit Nicaragua to move a foreign-trade office from Miami to Toronto, despite U.S. concern that the Sandinista government could be seeking ways to circumvent the Reagan administration's trade embargo.
Clark made the comment after meeting at the State Department with Secretary of State George P. Shultz in the latest of regular meetings between U.S. and Canadian foreign ministers.
Clark told reporters that Shultz is concerned that the Nicaraguan trade office, to be established in Canada within days, is not be used as a conduit for U.S. goods that cannot be sold directly to Nicaragua because of the U.S. embargo that is now in effect.
Clark said Canada will monitor transactions to make sure the office is not used for resale to Nicaragua of U.S.-originated goods.
On the other hand, Clark said, Canadian salesmen have "a perfect right" to sell Nicaragua anything it wants to buy, regardless of the U.S. embargo.
Canada "doesn't agree" with the U.S. embargo against Nicaragua, Clark said, adding that he had told Shultz of Canada's appreciation that the U.S. embargo, announced May 1, does not restrict the sales by Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. firms.
Nicaraguan Vice Foreign Minister Victor Hugo Tinoco, representing his government at the recent Manzanillo talks with the United States, is expected in Ottawa Thursday, Clark said. One of his deputies, Minister for External Relations Monique Vezina, is to visit Nicaragua in early June to discuss the Canadian aid program and other issues.
In the environmental field, Clark said "a lot of progress" has been made between the U.S. and Canadian governments since conservatives came to power in Ottawa last September.
He particularly mentioned the touchy issue of acid rain, saying there is not yet a new accord.
Clark said he told Shultz that Canada is considering whether to propose that a more comprehensive bilateral trade agreement be negotiated with the United States.