Canada is preparing for a second Trump presidency. Trudeau says Trump ‘represents uncertainty’

Jan 23, 2024, 9:21 AM

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 at a Cabinet retreat.

Trudeau said that Trump “represents uncertainty. We don’t know exactly what he is going to do,” but 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 and his second straight victory in his quest for the 2024 GOP nomination after producing a commanding triumph in Iowa.

Trudeau’s Cabinet has been discussing the Nov. 7 presidential election at a retreat in Montreal and the prospect that Trump could return to the White House.

“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.

Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., and a panel of experts were at the retreat to brief the Cabinet and prepare a strategy. Trudeau said that his industry and trade ministers will lead the “Team Canada approach” with the business community.

Flavio Volpe, president of Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association in Canada, participated in the discussion on Tuesday.

Trump called Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest” and attacked Canada’s vital trade when he was president. He threatened tariffs on cars and imposed them on steel. The unprecedented tone of attacks on 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., so preserving a free trade deal was critical, and the two countries, along with Mexico, eventually reached a new agreement.

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.

“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. “The integration of our economies, the partnerships we have in so many different areas end up being beneficial on both sides of the border.”


President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wed...

Associated Press

Biden’s speech: Warnings about Trump without naming him, a hefty to-do list, and a power handoff

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden delivered a solemn Oval Office address Wednesday that laid out in the clearest terms yet why he abandoned his reelection campaign. He wanted to send an unmistakable warning about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while anointing Vice President Kamala Harris as his natural successor, without invoking an overtly political […]

26 minutes ago

House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Mark E. Green, R-Tenn., speaks to reporters afte...

Associated Press

House votes to form task force to investigate shooting at Trump rally, recommend legislative fixes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Wednesday to form a task force to investigate the security failures surrounding the assassination attempt against former President Donald Trump on June 13. The vote underscores the bipartisan outrage over the shooting at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. Trump came within inches of losing his life. One rallygoer […]

37 minutes ago

Associated Press

FBI searches home of former aide to New York Gov Kathy Hochul

MANHASSET, N.Y. (AP) — The FBI searched the Long Island home of a former aide to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday. The former staffer, Linda Sun, has not been accused of wrongdoing, and an FBI spokesman declined to release details beyond confirming that agents “conducted court-authorized law enforcement activity in Manhasset.” Sun and […]

3 hours ago

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Steve Dickson, ...

Associated Press

Prosecutors file Boeing’s plea deal to resolve felony fraud charge tied to 737 Max crashes

The Justice Department has filed an agreement in which Boeing will plead guilty to a fraud charge for misleading regulators who approved the 737 Max jetliner before two of the planes crashed, killing 346 people. The detailed plea agreement was filed Wednesday in federal district court in Texas. The American aerospace company and the Justice […]

3 hours ago

President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One as he arrives Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Ju...

Associated Press

Biden to use Oval Office address to explain his decision to quit 2024 race, begin to shape legacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Insisting that “the defense of democracy is more important than any title,” President Joe Biden on Wednesday will explain in an Oval Office address his decision to drop his bid for reelection and to throw his support behind Vice President Kamala Harris. The address will offer the public their first chance to […]

4 hours ago

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives at Indianapolis International Airport, Wednesday, July 24, 202...

Associated Press

The fight to define Harris is on. And for now, Republicans are dominating Democrats on the airwaves

NEW YORK (AP) — Just days into her new role as the Democratic Party’s likely presidential nominee, Kamala Harris is already facing a wave of Republican-backed attack ads questioning her personality, her progressive record and what she knew about President Joe Biden’s decline. But for now, at least, Democrats have yet to engage in the […]

4 hours ago

Canada is preparing for a second Trump presidency. Trudeau says Trump ‘represents uncertainty’