I have just watched the joint press conference from President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau, following their first meeting. I think it went better than many had expected.
On the issues of trade, and particularly NAFTA, both leaders stressed the importance of trade between our two countries and about the level of jobs the agreement supports.
I was particularly impressed by President Trump’s characterization of the special relationship that exists between our two countries. President Trump made particular note that reciprocal trade creates more jobs in North America, and steps must be taken to protect jobs in our hemisphere.
One important part of the meeting was the announcement to create a Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. Looking at the long list of women appointed to this Council it underscores the important business relationship and I believe can only strengthen relations between our nations.
President Trump also pledged to enhance the trading relationship with Canada. In response to a question he characterized trade with Canada as being fair.
On a further question about NAFTA (would it be renegotiated?), he said that Canada and the US have an outstanding trade relationship, and “we’ll be tweaking it to make it even better.” He referenced that future discussions will include ways to create good jobs on both sides of the border and ideas to improve the flow of goods and people.
Most pundits seem to be feeling positive about the tone of the meeting.
The trade relationship between Canada and the US is one that is very different from the relationship between the US and Mexico. President Trump was very clear on that score.
I am optimistic that we do have an opportunity to find ways to improve the mobility provisions of the NAFTA and TN professions list.
CERC will continue to work with both the Canadian and US governments and business groups to find ways to improve cross border mobility.