Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

The specter of another presidency Trump looms over Trudeau Cabinet meeting

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President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau at a NATO meeting in 2019. (File photo)


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As Trudeau's ministers meet for three days in Montreal, the possibility of Donald Trump's return to the presidency once again haunts Canada. In this context, Ottawa must take concrete measures to prepare, according to Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, who will speak to the Liberal troops.

In 2016, when a similar activity was organized, Ms. Hillman's predecessor was also invited. At that time, national polls gave Democrat Hillary Clinton a six-point lead over her Republican rival, who would nevertheless defy the odds and gain the White House.

Eight years later, recent polls show that candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump are neck and neck, despite all the problems that drag the Republican leader.

This time, there's no question of being caught with your pants down.

Whenever an important moment arrives for Americans, we need to make sure we are aware and doing everything we can to position Canada in the best possible way to prepare for fluctuations, or even complete changes in direction, she said in an interview with CBC News.

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Kirsten Hillman has been Canada's ambassador to Washington since March 2020. (Archive photo)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the possibility of a second term for Donald Trump earlier this week.

LoadingAbout one in eight seniors' residences still without sprinklers

ELSE ON INFO: Approximately one in eight seniors' residences still without sprinklers

It wasn't easy the first time and if there is a second time, it will won't be easy either.

A quote from Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Quebec

The program of a Trump 2.0 would possibly be even more eventful. The United States could indeed withdraw from the NATO military alliance, end American support for Ukraine and trigger new trade wars.

Between 2017 and 2021, the Trudeau government clashed several times with the Trump administration, culminating in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (the former NAFTA which is now called hui CUSMA).

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CUSMA was signed in 2018, when Enrique Pena Nieto (left) was president of Mexico.

Part of Canada's strategy during these lengthy trade negotiations was to build alliances in American political and business circles. According to Ms. Hillman, Canada should now begin working to refresh these ties, not just in Washington, but across the country as a whole.

The Canadian ambassador to the United States added that this work has already begun and that Canada's approach to obtaining support should be intentional and systematic.

An opinion shared by Laura Dawson, expert in Canadian-American relations and executive director of the Future Borders Coalition. Ms. Dawson will also be invited to speak to the Trudeau Cabinet next week.

This kind of cross-border charm offensive is something which is absolutely necessary, regardless of the outcome of the election, a Biden presidency or a Trump presidency, she declared in an interview on the show The House on CBC Radio.

Trade would likely be the first point of friction between Canada in the event of a Trump election victory. The candidate for the Republican nomination has pledged to impose flat 10% tariffs on all products imported into the United States, including those from Canada.

A review of CUSMA conditions is also on the menu in 2026 as provided for in the treaty.

According to Canada's ambassador to the United States, the current trade agreement has been useful for Canada. Our view is that it works very well. This is not to say that there have not been differences of interpretation in dispute resolution, but that is exactly what this dispute resolution system is for. , mentioned Ms. Hillman.

The question of the United States will not be the only point on the agenda of the Trudeau Cabinet meeting. Building more houses and helping the middle class advance are among the topics of discussion on the agenda, according to the official press release.

The Trudeau Cabinet retreat, which begins this Sunday, is scheduled to last three days.

Based on texts by Christian Paas-Lang and Aaron Wherry, CBC News.

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