Tories talk to PM about Trump

Am­brose sends let­ter call­ing for bi­par­ti­san ef­forts

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

The Con­ser­va­tive party is of­fer­ing sup­port to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau as he pre­pares to meet with U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to­day.

In­terim leader Rona Am­brose has sent a let­ter to Trudeau call­ing for bi­par­ti­san ef­forts in build­ing a re­la­tion­ship with the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

She notes mem­bers of her cau­cus have ex­per­tise in ar­eas like trade and strong con­tacts with Amer­i­can law­mak­ers.

Trudeau said last week in Yel­lowknife that he would han­dle any dis­agree­ments with the pres­i­dent re­spect­fully and that he sees eye-to-eye with Trump when it comes to the econ­omy and cre­at­ing jobs for the mid­dle class.

He has avoided di­rectly com­ment­ing on Trump’s re­cent ex­ec­u­tive or­der ban­ning im­mi­grants from seven ma­jor­ity-Mus­lim coun­tries, which is now the sub­ject of a court bat­tle in the U.S.

Am­brose writes there are a num­ber of key is­sues Trudeau must ad­dress with Trump, in­clud­ing the fu­ture of NAFTA, po­ten­tial “Buy Amer­i­can’’ leg­is­la­tion and trade re­la­tion­ships with the coun­tries in­volved in the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship.

“Sim­ply put, any short­com­ings on any of the files could lead to a loss of Cana­dian jobs,’’ the let­ter states.

“That is some­thing we can­not af­ford at a time when Canada’s econ­omy is al­ready strug­gling to cre­ate good pay­ing, full time work.’’

Trump has promised to rene­go­ti­ate or with­draw from NAFTA, which he’s called a dis­as­ter for the U.S., and he has al­ready pulled out of the 12-na­tion Trans-Pa­cific deal in favour of seek­ing in­di­vid­ual trade agree­ments with the coun­tries in­volved.

Am­brose said the com­pet­i­tive­ness of Canada’s tax and reg­u­la­tory poli­cies, the co-or­di­na­tion of en­ergy and en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies, and po­ten­tial trade ac­tion against Cana­dian lum­ber pro­duc­ers, agri­cul­ture and dairy sec­tors are also pri­or­i­ties for Trudeau and Trump to dis­cuss.

Trump signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der last month to fast-track the Key­stone XL pipe­line, con­nect­ing the oil­sands in Al­berta to the Amer­i­can Gulf Coast. The pro­posed pro­ject had pre­vi­ously been halted by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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.

A re­cent anal­y­sis by the Na­tional Bank Fi­nan­cial Mar­kets says the re­vival of Key­stone XL could be good for Canada’s en­ergy sec­tor, it also pre­dicts Trump’s pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies will chop the growth rate for Canada’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by as much as 1.5 per­cent­age points.

Trudeau said Fri­day he ex­pects to have a “good work­ing, con­struc­tive’’ re­la­tion­ship with Trump.

CP PHOTO

In this file photo, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau holds a press con­fer­ence at the Na­tional Press The­atre in Ottawa, On­tario. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will wel­come Trudeau to the White House to­day.

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