Tuesday, February 14, 2017 12:01 am
U.S. President Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau pledged to strengthen the relationship between the two countries after weeks of uncertainty between the two neighbours and trade allies.
Trump, who addressed a joint press conference with Trudeau on Monday following the latter’s visit to Washington, said it was his “great honour” to host the Prime Minister of America’s “great friend, neighbour and ally”.
He thanked Trudeau for Canada’s efforts in fighting the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and noted that American and Canadian soldiers had fought and died together.
The president pledged to work with Trudeau to “build even more bridges, bridges of cooperation and bridges of commerce”.
“We have a lot of discussions and we are going to have good trade relations with Canada. We will be tweaking our outstanding ties with Canada,” Trump said.
The American leader, however, stood by his refugee and immigration ban.
“We are getting such praise for our stance, and it’s a stance of common sense. It may be a certain toughness, but it’s really more than toughness.
“We’ll only let people who love our country come in. We don’t want to see the kind of problems we see happen all over the world and there are many of them around the world,” he said.
Trudeau noted the progress the two countries had made in the past on climate change and trade.
“Canada and U.S. will always be crucial partners. U.S. 35 States have Canada as their largest trade partners with a two billion dollars trade volume every single day.
“U.S. and Canada depend on each other. We know that our economy is very dependent on the United States.
“Canada and U.S. will forever be a good example of how to be a best neighbours,” the Canadian leader said.
On his sharp difference with Trump over restrictions on refugees and migrants, Trudeau said: “We won’t always agree on everything”.
According to him, however, the “abiding respect” the two countries have for one another will continue.
“There have been times when we have differed in our approaches.
“The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they chose to govern themselves.
“We want to set positive examples to the world and I won’t lecture another country on its policies,” Trudeau said.