Trudeau, Trump strike con­cil­ia­tory tone

‘Amer­ica is for­tu­nate to have a neigh­bour like Canada’: Trump

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - “We share the same val­ues, we share the love — a truly great love — of free­dom .... Amer­i­can and Cana­dian troops have gone to bat­tle to­gether, fought wars to­gether and forged the spe­cial bonds that come when two na­tions have shed their blood to­gether.” U.

Justin Trudeau and Don­ald Trump struck an ami­able, con­cil­ia­tory note af­ter face-to-face meetings Mon­day, ac­knowl­edg­ing the unique na­ture of the Canada-U.S. re­la­tion­ship and the need to keep trade mov­ing across a shared, se­cure bor­der.

Prior to their joint news con­fer­ence, the two sides is­sued a joint state­ment on shared pri­or­i­ties that seemed to sug­gest the first in-per­son en­coun­ters be­tween the prime min­is­ter and the U.S. pres­i­dent had gone well.

“Amer­ica is deeply for­tu­nate to have a neigh­bour like Canada,” Trump said.

“We share the same val­ues, we share the love — a truly great love — of free­dom .... Amer­i­can and Cana­dian troops have gone to bat­tle to­gether, fought wars to­gether and forged the spe­cial bonds that come when two na­tions have shed their blood to­gether.”

The lengthy joint state­ment in­di­cates the two sides have agreed to work on im­prov­ing labour mo­bil­ity and trade across the Canada-U.S. bor­der, ex­pand pre­clear­ance agree­ments to cover cargo ship­ments and work on in­fras­truc­ture projects in both coun­tries.

It re­flects a grasp of a “unique” part­ner­ship and a com­mit­ment to con­tinue to strengthen ties for the mu­tual ben­e­fit of the two coun­tries.

“No other neigh­bours in the en­tire world are as fun­da­men­tally linked as we are,” Trudeau said.

“We fought in con­flict zones to­gether, ne­go­ti­ated en­vi­ron­men­tal treaties to­gether ... and we’ve en­tered into ground­break­ing eco­nomic part­ner­ships that have cre­ated good jobs for both of our peo­ples.

“Cana­di­ans and Amer­i­cans alike share a com­mon his­tory, as well as peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties that make us com­pletely and to­tally in­te­grated.”

The state­ment ac­knowl­edges that Canada is a vi­tal for­eign mar­ket for some 35 U.S. states, with more than $2 bil­lion flow­ing across the bor­der each day.

The state­ment also ac­knowl­edges a shared goal of “mov­ing for­ward on en­ergy in­fras­truc­ture projects that will cre­ate jobs while re­spect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.”

It also says the two sides plan to build on a num­ber of ar­eas of en­vi­ron­men­tal co-op­er­a­tion, par­tic­u­larly along the bor­der and the Great Lakes.

Ear­lier in the day, both lead­ers smiled and ap­peared to greet each other warmly as they shook hands at the door to the West Wing be­fore the pres­i­dent ush­ered the prime min­is­ter in­side.

Trudeau was ac­com­pa­nied by a who’s who of the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land, De­fence Min­is­ter Har­jit Sa­j­jan, Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale and Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bill Morneau.

Trudeau and his se­nior cab­i­net min­is­ters are in Wash­ing­ton with one over­ar­ch­ing goal: keep Canada out of the U.S pres­i­dent’s pro­tec­tion­ist trade crosshairs.

That’s be­cause Trump wants to rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment, has mused about a bor­der tax, and could bring back “Buy Amer­i­can” pro­tec­tion­ism.

That is widely viewed as a ma­jor threat to the more than $2 bil­lion in daily trade that flows across the world’s long­est un­de­fended bor­der — the gate­way to the big­gest trad­ing re­la­tion­ship on the planet.

Trump ac­knowl­edged Mon­day that his big­ger con­cern is the Mex­i­can end of the trade deal, say­ing that the goal would be to “tweak” those el­e­ments af­fect­ing Canada in or­der to bet­ter stream­line cross-bor­der trade.

AP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in the Oval Of­fice of the White House, in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., on Mon­day.

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