Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada will be meeting Republican President Donald Trump on Monday at the White House. This will be the first face-to-face meeting of the two leaders, considering they have contrasting ideas in different aspects, aside from the fact that they come from oppositional parties. So, how will they resolved these differences and reach an agreement in which both countries are in a win-win situation?
Justin Trudeau is the son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. After a surprising win against the Conservatives in 2015, the young Trudeau has become an international media darling and one of Canada’s prominent leaders in opening borders and gaining progress.
He has gained a global reputation for being a strong advocate for women and LGBT rights, promoting gender equality, and opening Canada’s grounds to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, Trump is the complete opposite of Trudeau’s views. The former halts the admission of refugees to the U.S., imposing a travel ban on seven majority-Muslim nations, and tearing up the National American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, Chair of the Cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations told Chris Hall of CBC Radio’s The House during an interview, “[Monday’s meeting] is going to be a high-level meeting where we talk about the things we share in common. As time goes on, we’ll get down into more specific areas in the different files that are important to the two countries. The Prime Minister has said he will convey our values to the President of the United States and that’s fair. And President Trump will do likewise.”
Trudeau’s trip to Washington has sparked a series of remarks on how the prime minister will deal with the unpredictable president. They will likely talk about the strong bonds between the two countries: a longstanding relationship of over “century and a half of shared history, geography and commerce,” defense and security, environment, and economic interest. Much is on the line for Trudeau as he builds an effective rapport and a good lasting impression on Trump.
Outline of points to talk about
Justin Trudeau will have to think of agendas and ideas to protect Canada from Trump’s famous line of “America First” which could be terrible for the country. The prime minister will remind Trump that their two countries have the world’s largest trading relationship with three-quarters of Canada’s exports going to the U.S., almost US$2 billion in goods and services and roughly 2.5 million Canadian jobs depending on American trade. Trudeau will support Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was blocked by the former president. And he will pursue the establishment of the Detroit-Windsor border, a new infrastructure project that Canada is financing for a bridge and customs plaza.
Although there is still that big dispute on NAFTA, in which, if it were to be rewritten would result in an added tax on Canada’s softwood lumber. Plus, things would get trickier for Trudeau once he touches with Trump’s conservationist plans on gay marriage and abortion as well as adopting universal health care.
Trudeau should try to do whatever he can to keep Canada’s biggest customer happy, without compromising his country’s interests and values. It’s a critical act but if these two leaders can create chemistry, this visit will result in a productive and continued alliance in reinforcing mutual benefits between the two nations.
“We are negotiators just like the other side. They expect that from us and we expect that from them… Of course, President Trump will also have some messages to convey to us. Obviously, he’s made it very clear for him a priority is also to create jobs. We’ve got a good arrangement going, and let’s keep it going,” Garneau added.
[Featured Image by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images]