Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump plan to meet for the first time on Monday in Washington, D.C.
The face-to-face meeting takes place amid rising tensions over Trump’s planned trade measures that Trudeau fears could impair Canada’s economy. One of these measures is Trump’s vow to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which aims to impose increased tariffs on exports from Canada and Mexico.
Reuters reports that the two have contrasting views when it comes to Trump’s immigration order temporarily banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations. In response to the executive action, Trudeau tweeted: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
While neither administration has released details of what they plan to discuss during Monday’s meeting, one anonymous source told Reuters, “They will discuss everything–trade, the border, security, and defense.”
A statement issued by the White House Thursday said Trump and Trudeau “look forward to a constructive conversation on strengthening the relationship between our two nations”
Strong Canada-US ties help the middle class in both our countries. Monday, I’ll meet @realDonaldTrump in DC to keep working for that goal.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 9, 2017
Ahead of this meeting, three of Trudeau’s government ministers — Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Finance Minister Bill Morneau — visited Washington D.C. this week to lay the groundwork for their first face-to-face discussion and persuade Trump’s team to not rule out Canada during NAFTA renegotiation talks.
Morneau commented to reporters about their meeting, “We’ve found (our U.S. counterparts) to be interested, engaged, understanding the depth of the relationship and the importance of the relationship to the United States and Canada. So we want to build on that. I think Americans intuitively understand the strength of the relationship.”
The Trump is catching heat for potentially hindering the Canadian economy, though he recently signed an executive order to clear the way for TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta oil sands to U.S. refineries, which would help reignite the Canadian energy sector, according to one report.
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