‘We will al­ways work to­gether’: Trudeau

Trudeau ad­dresses Merkel Trump rift; says Canada com­mit­ted to Europe and U.S.

Cape Breton Post - - News | Canada - BY MIKE BLANCHFIELD

Justin Trudeau was tugged be­tween dual loy­al­ties span­ning the At­lantic Ocean as he com­mit­ted Tues­day to work­ing with the United States and Europe for the eco­nomic good of all Cana­di­ans.

In the end, he sided sub­tly with Europe, in the stormy transat­lantic rift that emerged be­tween the con­ti­nent and the U.S. fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­but at the G7 and NATO sum­mits.

“We will al­ways work to­gether and high­light the shared val­ues that are equally im­por­tant on both sides of the At­lantic, in­clud­ing in the United States,” Trudeau told re­porters as he wrapped his trip to Italy, fol­low­ing his ap­pear­ance at the two sum­mits.

He also pledged his on­go­ing sup­port for the Canada-EU free trade deal and a com­mit­ment to fight cli­mate change as ways to cre­ate jobs.

Though Trump is no fan of lib­er­al­ized trade or cli­mate change ac­cords, Trudeau made clear he would de­fend the mer­its of both by con­tin­u­ing to ar­gue — as he has tried to con­struc­tively with Trump — that both are good for eco­nomic growth.

“The way we can work on that to­gether where we have dis­cus­sions, where we agree, is go­ing to con­tinue to be based in open­ness, in frank­ness, in ro­bust ex­changes,” said Trudeau.

But it was in a speech to Italy’s Cham­ber of Deputies that Trudeau un­leashed his most se­vere pub­lic crit­i­cism of Trump to date, said Stephen Saide­man, a for­eign re­la­tions

ex­pert at the Nor­man Pater­son School of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions at Car­leton Univer­sity.

Trudeau noted the anx­i­ety cre­ated by “the twin forces of tech­nol­ogy and glob­al­iza­tion,” and said those forces can be har­nessed to help deal with prob­lems like cli­mate change.

“Lead­ers who think we can hide from these changes, or turn back the clock, are wrong,” Trudeau de­clared.

Saide­man called that a clear crit­i­cism of Trump, one that aligns Trudeau with Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s post-sum­mit dis­ap­point­ment with the pres­i­dent.

“It’s sort of putting Trump into the di­nosaur cat­e­gory,” said Saide­man.

“He’s been re­sis­tant to be­ing pushed by the NDP or by mem­bers of his own party to speak out strongly against Trump. Now we see him tak­ing a cau­tious stance, but still a pretty clear stance.”

Merkel sug­gested there has been a dis­ap­point­ing shift in re­la­tions be­tween Europe and the U.S. af­ter the con­ti­nent couldn’t reach a cli­mate change deal with Trump at the G7. Merkel said the time had come to for Euro­peans to “take our des­tiny into our own hands.

Un­like Merkel, who faces an elec­tion later this year and won’t win votes if she sides with Trump, Trudeau must build bridges with the mer­cu­rial U.S. pres­i­dent be­cause Canada is

eco­nom­i­cally in­ter­twined with its No. 1 trad­ing part­ner.

Canada will join the U.S. and Mex­ico at the bar­gain­ing ta­ble later this sum­mer to rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment.

Saide­man said the Trudeau govern­ment can still tend to its all-en­com­pass­ing eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship with the U.S. by con­tin­u­ing its full-court po­lit­i­cal press on all lev­els of govern­ment, in­clud­ing the two houses of Congress.

“The re­al­ity is most of the dam­age that Trump can do, in terms of trade, can only be done with the con­sent of Congress, so Canada’s in good shape be­cause they’ve got al­lies in Congress.”

AP PHOTO

G7 lead­ers (from left) EU Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Junker, Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, and Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Paolo Gen­tiloni, pose for a fam­ily photo at the An­cient Greek The­ater of Taormina May 26.

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