Canadian PM Justin Trudeau meets President Trump to discuss trade, immigration and equality in the workplace

President Trump has today pledged to put his political differences with Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, aside and build upon the ‘very historic friendship’ between the US and its northern neighbour.

Meeting for the first time, Trump and Trudeau stood side-by-side whilst answering questions from the national media at a conference in the White House.

Famous for their differences, the pair discussed the likes of trade and immigration – two topics the leaders disagree on.

When asked about the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, the answers showed a clear political contrast between the two leaders.

Earlier this year, the president of the United States emplaced a controversial travel ban preventing citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country – sparking a wave of protests across the globe and a reply from PM Trudeau who declared ‘diversity is our [Canada’s] strength’ and promised to welcome refugees with open arms.

This assumed awkward tension between the two leaders was nowhere to be seen today as Mr Trump greeted the Canadian Prime Minister with a handshake and a pat on the back. Before stepping inside the White House, the pair smiled to photographers in a show of unity.

Evan Vucci / AP

Shawn Thew / EPAAcknowledging their differences, the PM said “there are times when we have differed in our approaches. And that’s always been done firmly and respectfully”. He also added his immigration policy, which has seen over 40,000 refugees entering Canada, will remain standing as he hopes to set a ‘positive example to the world’.

Mr Trump, on the other hand, defended his recent travel ban insisting he wants ‘a big, beautiful, open door’ but that ‘we [the USA] can not let the wrong people in’.

Another issue touched was trade between the neighbouring countries. Trump, whom heavily criticised the North American Free Trade Agreement during his election campaign, seemed more open to keeping the agreement.

‘We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We’ll be tweaking it’ Trump said referring to NAFTA, adding ‘We’ll be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries. It’s a much less severe situation than what’s taken place on the southern border.’

The disagreements over trade have reportedly unsettled both Canadian and American officials as the two countries are currently major trading partners and a sharp change in the present system could spark huge job and economic losses.

Evan Vucci / Associated Press

The two leaders, with the addition of Donald’s daughter Ivanka, led a roundtable discussion with female business leaders and entrepreneurs.

The meeting focused on advancing the role of women in the workplace with the two countries launching a new task force named the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.


Evan Vucci / Associated Press

The meeting between US President Trump and the Canadian Prime Minister is not the first between Trump and a foreign leader, as he has recently introduced the likes of British PM Theresa May and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to Washington.

The hope is to increase global trade and further relationships between the US and its allies.

 

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