A look back at Trudeau and Trump’s four-year yo-yo relationship


OTTAWA – It was February 13, 2017, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially met with newly elected US President Donald Trump in Washington for a routine tour of the White House grounds. As well as being marked by awkward photo ops, a particularly firm handshake, and more talk about Trudeau’s flashy socks, the star-studded event was the first time the two executives had spoken face-to-face. face of the common values ​​and interests of both. allied countries, while avoiding obvious political differences.

“Canada and the United States will forever be a model example of how to be good neighbors,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference that day, before being asked a question about the president’s recent immigration ban against seven Muslim-majority countries.

“The last thing Canadians are waiting for is for me to come and lecture another country about how it chooses to govern itself.

Perhaps the highlight of the visit was a roundtable on businesswomen that included Trump’s famous daughter, Ivanka Trump, which sparked countless memes and social media posts showing Ivanka ‘passed out’ in because of Trudeau.

Relations between the two leaders since this first visit are far from boring.

Got you G7, 2017

Fast forward a few months to May 2017, when the Group of Seven gathered for their annual gathering, this time in Sicily, Italy. As the weekend approached, all eyes were on Trump as the event was his first foray into the world political scene.

As leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and US agreed to tackle violent extremism – the meeting that took place a few Just days after a deadly terror attack in Manchester – Trump has notably collided with his colleagues, including Trudeau, on issues such as climate change and free trade.

Trump said at the time that he would not urge the United States to abide by the Paris climate agreement and has since officially notified the withdrawal of his administration.

“There are clearly areas where the Canadian position may not be universally adopted,” said then Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Did you miss G7, 2018

Unlike the previous G7 summit, tensions were already very high between Trudeau and Trump as the meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec approached.

Just days before the June 8 summit began, Trump introduced a 25 percent tariff on Canadian steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum in an “America First” speech. At the meeting, the president warned Canada and other trading partners not to impose retaliatory tariffs.

Trudeau answered questions about the decision throughout the summit, at one point calling the taxes applied in Canada “insulting.”

“I made it very clear to the President that this is not something we like to do, but it is something that we will absolutely do because Canadians, we are polite, we are reasonable, but we will not be not rushed either, ”Trudeau said. during a press briefing.

The two also fought over whether to include a sunset clause in a renegotiated trade deal, a provision that U.S. trade officials were pushing for.

“We oppose any sunset clause of any length,” Trudeau said.

The exchange prompted Trump to withdraw the United States from the shared G7 “ambitious communiqué,” a move he elaborated on on a subsequent flight to Singapore for meetings with North Korean officials.

He went on to say that Trudeau had acted “so sweet and gentle” and “very dishonest and weak” at G7 meetings.

Trudeau’s team responded by saying that the Prime Minister had not said anything new that he had not said before, in public or in private, to the president.

United Nations General Assembly, 2018

It was a brief but symbolic gesture – the one you see in high school cafeterias or before a big board meeting. During a lunch at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Prime Minister voluntarily moved to greet the President seated at a table, who appeared to be looking at notes. Trump took a quick glance, squeezed his hand, but didn’t get up.

Trudeau urged the press, when asked about the incident, not to read too much of the situation.

“It was an interaction like so many others at the UN, quick but cordial. There are all kinds of opportunities for me to speak with President Trump and now is not the time. ”

On the sidelines of the conference, Trump later said he was “very unhappy” with the ongoing trade negotiations and complained about “Canada’s negotiating style,” referring to the then Foreign Minister. , Chrystia Freeland.

NATO Summit, 2019

A little over a year later, a new trade deal between Mexico, the United States and Canada was reached – although not ratified – and, for the most part, the prime minister has managed to stay out of the thread. President’s Twitter.

The two sat at the NATO meeting in London where Trump called Trudeau a “friend” and touted their “very good relationship”. Trudeau also called the relationship “incredibly strong”.

The relative calm turned stormy when Trudeau was filmed chatting about Trump with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and Princess Anne at a reception at the Buckingham Palace.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the NATO summit

Not only did Trudeau face the wrath of Trump, who responded to the video calling him “double-sided,” but he faced a grilling from members of the opposition who feared that the actions of the Prime Minister could have compromised the ratification of the new NAFTA.

Nonetheless, it was the kind of content ripe for the Saturday Night Live parody.

2020 and beyond

There has been no shortage of remarkable interactions between the two leaders since the start of the new year, mainly due to a wave of international crises, including escalating tensions with China and a global pandemic.

Trudeau was touchy, however, in responding to questions about Trump’s leadership in COVID-19. He avoided sharing his thoughts on the president’s criticism of public health guidelines, instead saying Canada’s federal government has confidence in the work of its scientists and medical professionals.

And of course, there was a notable 21-second pause from Trudeau, after being asked to reflect on the president’s threat of military action to control anti-racism protests against blacks across the country.

The sightings of their yo-yo relationship were recently documented in new memoirs from former Trump national security adviser John Bolton.

According to Bolton, Trump only “tolerated” Trudeau, but his personal feelings for the prime minister “made things much more difficult.”

Free by John Bolton

The countdown is on until November, when American voters decide whether Trump and Trudeau will part ways or be forced to endure another chapter as political enemies.


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