Trudeau vis­its D.C. amid un­rest

For­eign af­fairs min­is­ter: May be most un­cer­tain in­ter­na­tional mo­ment since sec­ond World War

North Bay Nugget - - NATIONAL NEWS - AlexAn­der PAnettA Forbes For­tune

Wash­Ing­tOn—PrimeMin­is­ter Justin trudeau has ar­rived in Wash­ing­ton at a jit­tery mo­ment in the u.s. cap­i­tal, to the sound of metaphor­i­cal alarm bells be­ing rung by amer­i­can power-bro­kers about the pos­si­bil­ity of u.s. Pres­i­dent don­ald trump trig­ger­ing dif­fer­ent in­ter­na­tional crises.

the warn­ings are com­ing from cor­ners that would nor­mally be tight al­lies of a repub­li­can ad­min­is­tra­tion — yet they are now ex­press­ing con­cern that er­ratic pres­i­den­tial be­hav­iour might cause chaos on trade and na­tional se­cu­rity.

the big­gest u.s. busi­ness group has launched a lobby ef­fort to save the north amer­i­can Free trade agree­ment, wor­ry­ing that the pres­i­dent might be sab­o­tag­ing the rene­go­ti­a­tion.

trump did noth­ing to dis­suade that im­pres­sion. he told magazine in a just-re­leased in­ter­view he hopes to in­voke naFta’s exit clause to ne­go­ti­ate a bet­ter deal later: “I hap­pen to think that naFta will have to be ter­mi­nated if we’re go­ing to make it good. Oth­er­wise, I be­lieve you can’t ne­go­ti­ate a good deal.”

but this town is es­pe­cially fix­ated on an­other, more eye-pop­ping crit­i­cism of trump.

the repub­li­can who leads the se­nate’s for­eign-af­fairs com­mit­tee, bob corker, has de­clared the pres­i­dent needs adult su­per­vi­sion, is in con­stant dan­ger of un­leash­ing chaos and could wind up caus­ing, “World War III.”

this is the thorn-filled thicket await­ing trudeau.

amid dis­putes over tar­iffs on lum­ber and bom­bardier planes, and the naFta talks, trudeau plans to dis­cuss sev­eral trade con­cerns with the pres­i­dent at the White house on Wed­nes­day and will also be meet­ing a more pro-naFta con­tin­gent of pow­er­ful u.s. law­mak­ers.

canada’s for­eign af­fairs min­is­ter ad­mits her con­cern.

chrys­tia Free­land was asked to com­ment on the spat with corker as she par­tic­i­pated tues­day in a women-in-busi­ness sum­mit or­ga­nized by magazine and al­though she de­clined to dis­cuss per­son­al­i­ties, she did share some wor­ries.

Free­land said she’s wor­ried be­cause old, suc­cess­ful in­sti­tu­tions are start­ing to break down. she cred­ited post-sec­ond World War trade or­ga­ni­za­tions, as well as the un, the World bank and the IMF with safe­guard­ing more than 70 years of pros­per­ity.

“there are a lot of things that are con­cern­ing in the world right now,” Free­land said when asked about corker’s com­ments. “I think this is prob­a­bly the most un­cer­tain mo­ment in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions since the end of the sec­ond World War.

“(the post­war or­der) has re­ally worked. With time it has em­braced more and more peo­ple into a peace­ful, pros­per­ous world. It’s been great. and that or­der is start­ing to frac­ture. as a re­sult, we’re see­ing ten­sions in lots of dif­fer­ent places.”

she men­tioned north Korea as one ex­am­ple. the most no­table thing about corker’s com­ments, per­haps, is that they were made in pub­lic. In do­ing so, he yanked back the cur­tain on a con­ver­sa­tion that has been ram­pant in Wash­ing­ton for months. In pri­vate and in off-the-record chats, nu­mer­ous repub­li­cans crit­i­cize the pres­i­dent and fret about in­sta­bil­ity.

One well-placed mil­i­tary of­fi­cer aware of high-level dis­cus­sions con­firmed corker’s ac­count.

he de­scribed in an off-the-record chat with the cana­dian Press how se­nior brass work con­stantly to block the worst ideas from the White house for fear of es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions and pro­vok­ing war.

he cited three in­dis­pens­able play­ers and of­fered a dark prog­no­sis of what should hap­pen if chief of staff John Kelly, defence sec­re­tary James Mat­tis, or na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser h.r. McMaster left gov­ern­ment: “start pan­ick­ing.”

SeAn Kil­PAtricK/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau and So­phie Gre­goire Trudeau de­part Ot­tawa on Tues­day, en route to Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

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