N.L. premier in­vites Trump to Come from Away


ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — New­found­land and Labrador’s premier has in­vited Don­ald Trump to the hit Broad­way mu­si­cal Come from Away, say­ing he hopes “to dis­cuss the virtues of a pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship” with the U.S. pres­i­dent.

Dwight Ball’s let­ter to Trump, dated Tuesday, evokes the prov­ince’s his­toric re­la­tion­ship with the United States, on both trade and mil­i­tary bases.

“I just wanted to re­fresh and take the pres­i­dent back in time, and just re­mind his ad­min­is­tra­tion on how im­por­tant this re­li­able friend­ship and this busi­ness re­la­tion­ship is,” Ball said in an in­ter­view Wednesday.

“It’s just not a trans­ac­tion, this is about long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with our world’s largest trad­ing part­ner.”

Ball tweeted a copy of the let­ter Wednesday morn­ing.

The in­vi­ta­tion is at the pres­i­dent’s leisure, at which­ever city’s ver­sion of the mu­si­cal he prefers. It notes the tick­ets “hope­fully are tar­iff-free.”

“Please ad­vise of your ac­cep­tance of this in­vi­ta­tion and I will for­ward you tick­ets,” he writes.

Ball told The Cana­dian Press he took is­sue with the pres­i­dent’s lan­guage treat­ing Canada as a se­cu­rity risk. He sees Come from Away as an ex­am­ple of the long-stand­ing friend­ship be­tween Canada and the U.S., in more than just trade.

The mu­si­cal tells the true story of how Gan­der, N.L., wel­comed more than 7,000 stranded airline pas­sen­gers af­ter 9/11.

“The re­la­tion­ships that were formed at that time still last to this day, and it’s re­ally just sym­bolic of the re­la­tion­ship that we’ve had for many, many years,” said Ball.

His let­ter de­scribes Trump’s re­cent poli­cies on tar­iffs as “ex­tremely trou­bling,” and says he hoped to dis­cuss “a pos­i­tive and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial trade re­la­tion­ship.”

Af­ter this month’s G7 sum­mit in Que­bec, Trump called Justin Trudeau “weak and dis­hon­est.” The pres­i­dent was ap­par­ently an­gered over the prime min­is­ter’s com­ments at a press con­fer­ence ob­ject­ing to Amer­i­can tar­iffs on steel and alu­minum.

Ball said his prov­ince has been af­fected by new U.S. tar­iffs, but the com­pa­nies haven’t had a chance to share their sto­ries. He was among eight Cana­dian premiers who vis­ited Wash­ing­ton in June 2017 to dis­cuss NAFTA ne­go­ti­a­tions.


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