Canada's Trudeau Talks Trade With Trump at White House

Trade was at the top of the agenda for the first meeting between Trudeau and Trump as leaders of their respective countries.

Trudeau meanwhile hailed Canada's welcoming of thousands of Syrian refugees - banned indefinitely from the US under Trump's decree - and said he believed Canada could maintain its "openness" to immigrants and refugees "without compromising security". "We'll be tweaking it", Trump said, according to Reuters.

Trudeau told reporters on Friday he expected the two would "find a lot of common ground".

"Millions of good, middle class jobs on both sides of the border depend on this crucial partnership".

Trudeau has opened the door to Syrian refugees, and was at the airport to welcome the first flight and hand out warm clothes suitable to winter in the Great White North. Analysts point to the Canadian economy to explain his reluctance to take aim at Trump; three-quarters of Canada's exports go to the USA and roughly 2.5 million Canadian jobs depend on American trade. There are fears among Canadians that they could be hurt as Trump targets Mexico in a re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The meeting was with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is visiting the White House, and members of a newly-formed task force for female entrepreneurs, the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs.

Even their temperaments are vastly different.

After striking up a much-flaunted "bromance" with president Barack Obama, the youthful liberal leader was visiting his political opposite Trump in Washington for trade and immigration talks.

"We're actually taking people that are criminals - very, very hardened criminals in some cases, with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems, and we are getting them out", Trump said.

"Canada and the United States have been neighbors a long time".

Following the press conference, Trudeau will be meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The trademark Trump shake starts with the president extending his hand palm up in a submissive position, before reasserting his dominance with a surprise arm yank that knocks the recipient off balance, then he seals the handshake with a few friendly pats.

In the released viral photographs, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became their own meme following what appeared to be a very awkward handshake. They held a working luncheon before a joint news conference. The statement cited "profound shared economic interests", saying the USA and Canada recognize the importance of promoting growth and advancing "free and fair trade".

The statement said: "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".

The report noted that on Trump's end, the US administration plans to appoint "someone who raised money for the Trump campaign".

  • Carolyn Briggs