Trump welcomes Canada's prime minister in test of neighborly relations

Feb 14, 2017, 00:17
Trump welcomes Canada's prime minister in test of neighborly relations

Amid talk in the US of resetting trade relationships, President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said both countries are committed to maintaining trade ties and economic integration that support millions of jobs on both sides of the border.

Some will be disappointed that Trudeau did not beat the drum over Trump's executive order banning travellers from seven mostly Muslim countries; instead, the prime minister said Canadians wouldn't expect him "to "lecture" another country about its policies (actually, some would)".

Ivanka Trump, right, looks toward Trudeau during Trump's roundtable discussion on the advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders at the White House.

"On the home front, we have to create borders". Prime Minister, that I'm focused and you're focused on the important role women play in our economies.

Trudeau has welcomed the project and said it would bring much needed jobs to Canada, a position criticized by NDP leader Tom Mulcair who has said the pipeline would interfere with efforts to combat climate change.

Trudeau seemed to deliver a message to the Trump administration: We won't disrespect your policies on immigration, with which we disagree, if you don't disrespect us on trade.

The travel ban was not the only place where Trump and Trudeau navigated differences.

There was a warm greeting as the two men met at the White House.

The comments almost derailed Trump's long shot presidential campaign.

During his prepared remarks, Trump highlighted some of the ways that he feels the US and Canada will work together.

Trudeau gripped Trump's hand and his left shoulder momentarily before they disappeared into the West Wing for a photo op in the Oval Office before a day of talks.

"I'm just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large electoral college vote", he said, still apparently smarting from his popular vote loss. Trump has few women in his Cabinet.

John Kirton, a University of Toronto political science professor and expert on the G7 summits, points out that Trudeau's father, Pierre Trudeau, happened to host the 1981 G7 summit at Montebello, Que., the first attended by then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

Canada has also seen a steady increase in refugees seeking help in recent weeks after being denied asylum in the USA or concluding that Trump's travel ban has created unwelcome and even unsafe conditions for them.

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