Canada is Preparing for a Second Trump Presidency. Trudeau Says Trump ‘Represents Uncertainty’

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TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s government is preparing for the possibility that Donald Trump could reach the White House again and the “uncertainty” that would bring, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.Speaking at a Cabinet retreat, Trudeau said that Trump “represents uncertainty.
We don’t know exactly what he is going to do.” He said that his government was able to manage Trump previously by showing that Canada and the U.S. can create economic growth on both sides of the border.
Trump is eyeing a win in New Hampshire’s Republican primary on Tuesday, which would be his second straight victory in his quest for the 2024 GOP nomination after a commanding triumph in Iowa.
Trudeau’s Cabinet has been discussing the Nov.
5 presidential election at its retreat in Montreal.
“We made it through the challenges represented by the Trump administration seven years ago, for four years, where we put forward the fact that Canada and the U.S. do best when we do it together,” Trudeau said.
Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Kirsten Hillman, and a panel of experts were briefing the Cabinet to prepare a strategy.
Trudeau said that his industry and trade ministers will lead the “Team Canada approach” with the business community.
Trump as president called Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest” and attacked Canada’s vital trade.
He threatened tariffs on cars and imposed them on steel.
The unprecedented tone against one of Washington’s closest allies left a bitter taste, and most Canadians were relieved that Trump was defeated in 2020.
“Whether it was his attacks on farmers across Canada, whether it was his attacks on steel and aluminum workers, or whether it was his determination to tear up the free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, we were able to stand strong and renegotiate NAFTA,” Trudeau said.
“That was difficult.” Canada is one of the most trade-dependent countries in the world, and Trump’s move to rip up the North American Free Trade Agreement and call for the imposition of a 25% tariff on the auto sector posed an existential threat.
More than 75% of Canada’s exports go to the U.S.
The two countries, along with Mexico, eventually reached a revised agreement.
“What works with all American presidents is to demonstrate what is good for Canada is also is good for the United States and vice versa,” Trudeau said.
Trade between the U.S. and Canada totaled an estimated 1.2 trillion Canadian dollars ($890 billion) in 2022.
Each day, about 400,000 people cross the world’s longest international border, and about 800,000 Canadians live in the U.S.
There is close cooperation on defense, border security and law enforcement, and a vast overlap in culture, traditions and pastimes.
“Our integrated supply chains support millions of jobs,” François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, told reporters.
“If there was one thing that President Trump understood, it’s jobs.” Daniel Béland, a political science professor at McGill University in Montreal, said Trump’s mercurial style and unpredictable statements certainly would give Canadian officials headaches again.
“Unpredictable is not a word we want to utter in relationship to trade policy, which should be about fostering stability and predictability,” Béland said.
Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said the Trudeau government is anxious about the prospect of another Trump presidency.
“While Trump is unlikely to rip up the slightly revised NAFTA agreement that his government negotiated, a more protectionist U.S. government would be a major threat to the Canadian economy because two-thirds of Canada’s trade is with the U.S.,” Wiseman said.
“The impact would be greater on Canada than on any other country with the possible exception of Mexico,” Wiseman said.

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