Donald Trump welcomed Justin Trudeau Monday in Washington, a delicate meeting for the young Canadian Prime Minister who hopes to sketch a compromise on free trade, but also make his difference, from climate to immigration.
Third foreign leader received by the new Republican President, after British Theresa May and Japanese Shinzo Abe, Mr. Trudeau promised to speak with both “frankness and respect” to the White House tenant.
Arriving late in the morning at the White House in a radiant sun, he immediately found Donald Trump in the Oval Office for a first face-to-face.
The two men then had to participate in a round table with women business leaders to discuss the place of women in the labor market.
A joint press conference is scheduled for 1400 hours (1900 GMT).
“Canada will always remain true to its values that have made us an extraordinary country, a place of openness and respect,” said the young Canadian leader before his departure, questioned how he intended to address this issue. meet.
The economic ties between the two huge countries, which share the world’s longest border between two states, are extremely dense: three-quarters of Canada’s exports go to the neighboring country and Canada is the Thirty American states.
Mr. Trump’s renegotiation of the NAFTA free trade agreement, which groups Canada, the United States and Mexico, is a delicate one.
A proponent of free trade, Mr. Trudeau had warned against the temptation of “withdrawal” and “protectionism” during the American election campaign.
And he strongly recalled Friday that “millions of good jobs on both sides of the border” depended on a smooth flow of goods and people.
Different paths and styles
The American executive remained elusive on the direction it intended to give to the negotiations.
Judging that the 23-year-old NAFTA was a “catastrophe” for the United States and “very unfair” to the American worker, Donald Trump has so far been far more virulent about Mexico than about Canada.
Donald Trump of Justin Trudeau, 25 years his junior, who did not hide his complicity and his real convergence of views with Barack Obama.
Mr. Trudeau came to power by promising to govern “with optimism toward the future” and to enhance Canada’s image abroad.
Mr. Trump prevailed on November 8 with a gloomy picture of the threats to the United States and a slogan: “America First.”
Welcomed with great pomp almost a year ago in Washington by the Democratic president, Justin Trudeau had welcomed the host’s “leadership” on the climate.
There is no doubt that he will encounter another tone on this theme, as Donald Trump, who has surrounded himself with several climate-like figures, seems determined to unravel the record of his predecessor.
If the Canadian Prime Minister did not comment directly on the Trump Immigration Decree, which is currently suspended by the courts, he clearly made his difference.
In the aftermath of the controversial text, he emphasized that Canada would welcome “those fleeing persecution, terror and war” regardless of their faith.
“Diversity is our strength in EnLeaderWelcomeAuCanada,” he added in a tweet.
The two men are in unison on the project of a gigantic Keystone XL pipeline linking Canada to the United States, which was blocked by Barack Obama and to which Donald Trump has just given a new impetus.
Five tips for a successful meeting with Trump
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received a lot of advice before meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday at the White House.
Here are five suggestions from experts, politicians and diplomats:
1. Focus on employment.
Nine million jobs in the United States depend on trade with Canada. This is one of the key arguments delivered by the Trudeau government in Canada and in its meetings with the Trump administration in the United States. Some, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are well aware of this, but it should not be taken for granted that Donald Trump received the message.
2. Do not preach Canadian values.
Donald Trump may have offended many Canadians with his highly-publicized views on Muslims, women and Mexicans. Ian Lee, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa, believes that it would be “childish, juvenile and irresponsible” to believe that Justin Trudeau’s job is to go to Washington to defend the values With Mr. Trump when a renegotiation of NAFTA, a possible import tax, and “Buy American” protectionist measures are on the table.
3. Focus on tone, less on content, for now.
Donald Trump may need several more months to fill the thousands of senior officials in his new administration, said former Canadian ambassador to the United States Derek Burney.
4. Commit to increased investment in defense.
Donald Trump deems NATO obsolete and deplores the fact that its other 27 members – including Canada – do not meet the target of two per cent of the Alliance’s GDP for military spending. Canada spends less than one per cent. Roland Paris, former advisor to Mr. Trudeau on international politics, believes that it is time to increase spending because Mr. Trump’s remarks send a signal to all partners in the United States.
5. Remain away from discussions on climate change.
Donald Trump does not like this subject. He threatened to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. Canada had worked with its predecessor, Barack Obama, to develop the agreement by the end of 2015. Georganne Burke, vice president of a Toronto-based public relations firm from the United States and a supporter of Donald Trump, believes Justin Trudeau Must speak out on climate change because the majority of US Conservatives have expressed their anger when Barack Obama described them as the greatest global threat.