Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that he has appointed two cabinet ministers to lead a new “Team Canada” effort to ensure Canada and its government prepare for any possible outcome of this fall’s U.S. presidential election.
“The relationship between Canada and the United States is fundamental to the prosperity and well-being of Canadians,” Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters in Montreal, concluding two days of talks with ministers.
Prime Minister Trudeau asked François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Industry and Export Promotion, and Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade and Economic Development, to join Ambassador Kirsten Hillman and “a team of businesses, entrepreneurs, organized labor and civil society.” He said he asked them to cooperate on the “Canadian Approach.” There are various mandates from various organizations and governments to make sure that we, as Canadians, are ready to continue to benefit from our strong relationship with the United States. ”
Hillman was in Montreal on Tuesday to meet with federal ministers.
Ministers also heard from Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Components Manufacturers Association. Laura Dawson, Executive Director of the Future Borders Coalition; Marc-Andre Blanchard is Canada’s former ambassador to the United Nations and current executive vice president of investment group CDPQ Global.
President Trump strongly supports Republican nomination
Incumbent President Joe Biden is expected to face former President Donald Trump in the November election. Trump is the overwhelming favorite to win the Republican nomination, and a victory in Tuesday night’s New Hampshire primary could strengthen his support for the nomination.
The “engagement strategy” Trudeau announced Tuesday is similar to the diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Liberal government after Trump’s election in 2016.
To strengthen Canada’s position in the ensuing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Canadian government officials and leaders appealed to the entire U.S. political and business community for continued cooperation between the two countries.
“We know that American elections always have challenges,” Trudeau said Monday. “But, as always, we are ready to deal with whatever comes our way and will ensure we protect Canada’s interests and opportunities in a strong relationship.”
Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledged that Trump has “exhibited a degree of unpredictability” but said it was important for the Canadian government to work constructively with the U.S. president.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with ministers, Volpe said it was a “frank and good” discussion. Mr. Volpe, who is involved in NAFTA negotiation efforts, said the association’s role is to be “ready to provide substantive and quantitative information” about Canadian investments in the United States and American interests in Canada.
“I think everyone knows that he goes to protectionists a lot,” Volpe said of Trump. “When we talk about U.S. interests, whether it’s Trump or Biden, we’re always ready to turn around and show everyone that U.S. interests are largely Canada’s interests. is important.”
Volpe said dealing with the fallout from President Trump’s term from 2016 to 2020 was a learning experience.
“I think we’ve learned that it’s important to keep our information and contacts up to date. Especially in the automotive sector, we have 126 Canadian-owned auto parts factories across the United States. “We know exactly where it is and we know what’s going on in our local Congressional representatives and we’re talking to our senators,” he said.
“I think I’m better prepared this time. [rid] We have the idea that we can check in with ourselves when a problem arises. You should always keep in touch. ”
Both Champagne and Ng emphasized how integrated the U.S. and Canadian supply chains are.
“Our integrated supply chain supports millions of jobs,” Champagne said. “I’ve said that if there’s one thing President Trump understands, it’s jobs.”
Hillman argued that Canada must advocate for its interests regardless of who occupies the White House and that it is important to “focus on the issues.”
“We found that at the local level, whether Republican or Democratic, people care about jobs, security, prosperity, clean water, energy security, and energy affordability. “This is not a partisan issue,” she said. “I think it’s essential for Canada to approach this issue in that way, because it’s important to us and we need to meet with them about the issues, not the politics, which are Canada’s own issues.”
But Thursday also served as a reminder of the unwanted attention Canada has received at times during the Trump presidency.
While campaigning in New Hampshire, Trump repeatedly complained about illegal immigration and security along the U.S. southern border. But he also agreed with a reporter who asked about the northern border. Concerns that emerged during the Republican primary.
“We have to be careful on both borders,” Trump said. “And you have to monitor the fly-ins, you have to monitor everything. But the southern border is like nothing anyone has ever seen. But the northern border is also bad. It’s getting worse. are doing.”