Trudeau and Trump talk positively about bilateral trade

Posted by: Aaron Kroontje on February 14, 2017

On Monday, February 13, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Donald Trump, in their first face-to-face meeting. Prime Minister Trudeau is the third world leader to meet with President Trump since his inauguration on January 17, 2017.   

During his visit to Washington, Prime Minister Trudeau also held meetings with Paul Ryan, Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, and Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader.  

From initial media reports, it appears that Trudeau and Trump’s first official meeting went well and both leaders seem enthusiastic about advancing our partnership. This is good news for Canadians, as we do approximately $2 billion worth of daily business with the U.S. and sell nearly 80 per cent of our exports in the United States.  

Although recent comments coming from the Trump administration have focused on closing borders and "Buy American," President Trump’s acknowledgement  of the integrated nature of the U.S. and Canadian economies, and the reciprocal nature of the relationship, are a positive development.  

While yesterday’s meeting could be considered a success, there remains uncertainty regarding the future of NAFTA, America’s proposed border adjustment tax (blog coming soon), and climate change.  

When asked about the future of NAFTA President Trump reassured Canadians that he is only interested in “tweaking” the deal with Canada to the benefit of both countries, and is not as focused on Canada, as he on with Mexico. The joint statement from the two leaders regarding NAFTA: 

“The United States and Canada also recognize the importance of co-operation to promote economic growth, provide benefits to our consumers and businesses, and advance free and fair trade. We will continue our dialogue on regulatory issues and pursue shared regulatory outcomes that are business-friendly, reduce costs, and increase economic efficiency without compromising health, safety, and environmental standards.” 

During the visit they launched an initiative called the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. The joint task force is committed to removing barriers for women in the workforce. Calgary's TransAlta Corp. CEO Dawn Farrell was part of the group of women CEO’s meeting with both leaders, and Ivanka Trump.  

Both leaders agreed to expand pre-clearance policies that will reduce the time for cargo shipments to cross the border and noted their shared goals of energy security, a robust and secure energy grid, and a strong and resilient energy infrastructure that contributes to energy efficiency in both countries.  

We will keep following the issues that impact Calgary’s business community closely, and will continue to advocate for an economic partnership that benefits both countries.