Canada's Trudeau will not visit US to mark new trade deal

Cheryl Sanders
July 7, 2020

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has turned down President Trump's invitation to meet this week alongside Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in celebration of their new trade deal.

The trip to Washington will be Lopez Obrador's first official overseas visit, and he will meet Trump on Wednesday.

"Despite recent discussions about Canada's possible participation, the Prime Minister will be in Ottawa this week to hold scheduled cabinet meetings and take part in a long-planned meeting of parliament", his office said.

While he has not explicitly given a reason for his absence, Trudeau's missed attendance at the meeting comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as the number of cases in the US continues to rise.

López Obrador also said he would be speaking to Trudeau by phone.

Lopez Obrador has agreed to attend the meeting, but Trudeau said in a statement he will not be there.

Gagnon said the new treaty that took effect on July 1 'is good for Canada, the United States and Mexico.

When asked whether he was considering attending the G7 meeting, Trudeau cited the ongoing Canada-U.S. border restrictions and said his decision would be reliant on public health advice.

But Trump doesn't just dislike Trudeau, he dislikes Canada.

Over the last few months the prime minister has participated in various global meetings via telephone or videoconference, saying last week that in his view it is important to keep meeting as world leaders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in London past year, Trudeau and other world leaders were caught on a hot mic mocking Trump. "Trudeau can afford to wait out Trump's presidency now with less than four months to the USA election".

Trump "didn't like" Trudeau, former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton writes in his new book.

'I assume they understood what he was doing, and they responded in kind, playing along because it suited their interests not to be in a permanent tiff with the USA president'. Trudeau's a "behind your back guy,"' according to Bolton. Trudeau also flagged concerns over the novel coronavirus.

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