Tax cuts and infrastructure spending will be on the agenda Friday when U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin meets Finance Minister Bill Morneau in Ottawa.
A senior Treasury official said the visit will be the first to Ottawa by a treasury secretary in a decade.
In a briefing with reporters ahead of the meeting, the U.S. official said it is too early for the United States to get into specifics with Canada on the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement.
However, Mr. Mnuchin does intend to discuss tax reform, which the White House has marked as a priority for the fall once Congress has reached an agreement on health care. Mr. Morneau has previously indicated he will wait to see what specific tax changes emerge from Washington before deciding if Canadian adjustments are required to keep tax rates competitive.
Public and private investment in infrastructure will also be on the agenda, according to the official.
U.S. President Donald Trump is promoting a plan to boost infrastructure spending by encouraging more private investment in public infrastructure. While the administration has not yet released a detailed program, the general approach shares some similarities with proposals from Ottawa. Mr. Morneau is promoting the launch of a $35-billion Canada Infrastructure Bank aimed at convincing those investors to participate in Canadian projects.
The President's plan has been sharply criticized by his political rivals, including Senator Bernie Sanders, who released a report this week attacking the use of privately financed infrastructure. The report featured a top 10 list of what he described as failed public-private partnerships, including a costly parking deal in Chicago, a water deal in Bayonne, N.J., that led to rate increases and an Indiana toll road that went bankrupt.
"Donald Trump wants to hand over more critical public infrastructure to private investors who will squeeze profits from the American people by putting up new tolls and exorbitant users' fees. That would be unacceptable. We shouldn't be selling off public assets to billionaires to make huge profits on the backs of working people," Mr. Sanders wrote.
The proposed Canada Infrastructure Bank is facing a similar line of attack in Ottawa. The opposition Conservatives and NDP have criticized the government's plan daily in the House of Commons. The issue could come to a head next week in the Senate, where an independent senator is seeking support for a motion that would split the government's omnibus budget bill, C-44, in a way that would remove the section that creates the infrastructure bank.
The bank is not designed to sell existing public infrastructure, but Ottawa has commissioned studies on the potential of fully privatizing airports and sea ports.
In an interview this week, Mr. Morneau said Canada has had a positive experience with public-private partnerships and the bank would aim to attract more private funding in a way that reduces the financial risk for taxpayers.
"From our perspective, we hope that the U.S. successfully gets at infrastructure projects," he said. "How they get there is really up to them."
Other potential issues on Friday's agenda, according to the U.S. official, include efforts to prevent the financing of terrorism, a discussion of Canada's increased defence spending and upcoming meetings of the G20 in Hamburg, Germany.
Dina Powell, the President's deputy national security adviser, will also be coming to Ottawa with Mr. Mnuchin. The U.S. official did not say who Ms. Powell would be meeting with, and Canadian government officials declined to comment on her itinerary.