Trump and Trudeau make jobs and growth pledge

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump have vowed to work together to provide growth and jobs for both countries.

At a news conference, the two stressed the countries’ shared economic goals and international co-operation.

“We will co-ordinate closely to protect jobs in our hemisphere and to keep wealth in our continent,” said Mr Trump.

The Canadian leader said the countries had shared victories and suffered loss and heartbreak together.

He said they would work together for “safe efficient and responsible cross-border travel and migration” and to foster “bridges of co-operation and commerce”.

Mr Trudeau gave Mr Trump a framed photograph of the US president and the prime minister’s father, Pierre Trudeau.

The picture was taken in 1981 when the then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau received an award at the Family of Man award ceremony in New York City, according to the prime minister’s office.

The Society for the Family of Man is an international and interfaith organisation founded in 1963 by New York City’s Council of Churches.

The US president’s pledge to renegotiate free trade deal Nafta has reportedly unsettled Canadian officials – 75% of the country’s exports go to the US.


Trudeau’s balancing act – Jessica Murphy, BBC News, Toronto

Canadians will be watching this meeting closely.

Justin Trudeau has to walk a fine line on Monday as he sits down for this first face-to-face meeting with President Trump. In temperament and policy, the two leaders are very different.

Mr Trudeau needs to make the case that Canada-US trade benefits both countries and to try to counter any potential moves by the White House to impose tariffs on Canadian imports.

He will also probably point to the common ground he does share with Mr Trump. Both, for example, campaigned on improving the economy for the middle class and increased infrastructure spending.

But Canadians – who can be wary of their powerful southern neighbour at the best of times – also want Mr Trudeau to show mettle and make it clear that Canada will take a stand on issues in its national interest.


The two leaders, and Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka, also led a roundtable discussion on female workers.

The neighbouring countries are reportedly set to launch a new task force called the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs.

Ivanka Trump, who appealed to working women throughout her father’s presidential campaign, helped secure female executives to participate and set the agenda for the meeting, officials said.

The joint task force may help allay tensions over some of the protectionist measures Mr Trump has issued since he took office in January.

While Mr Trump has made a hardline stance on immigration a key policy, his counterpart north of the border has taken a very different approach.

The Canadian leader made global headlines for accepting nearly 40,000 refugees, and has said his country will welcome those fleeing persecution and war.

When Mr Trump signed an executive order banning arrivals from seven mainly Muslim countries, Mr Trudeau tweeted his government’s commitment to bringing in “those fleeing persecution, terror & war”.

He also sent a pointed tweet that showed him greeting a young refugee at a Canadian airport in 2015.

Canadian pollster Nik Nanos told Reuters he expects Mr Trudeau to avoid being too critical but will speak about Canada’s welcome for refugees and his support for free trade, when asked.

“This meeting is more about avoiding pitfalls than trying to engage on some of the big issues,” said Mr Nanos.

“It’s definitely the policy of laying low.”


US migrants flee to Canadian border

It was a cold that Seidu Mohammed and Razak Iyal could barely comprehend.

On Christmas Eve, they found themselves struggling through a waist-deep field of snow in a rash night-time bid to sneak across the Canada-US border.

The two men had met a just few hours before at a Minneapolis bus station and both faced deportation back to Ghana after being denied refugee status in the US.

They had heard through a network of other refugees and African expats that if they could get into Canada, they had a second shot at asylum in the north.

By the time they reached Highway 75 in Manitoba, their hands had frozen into claws. They could not reach the phones in their pockets to dial 9-1-1 as planned. Mohammed’s eyes had frozen shut.

Read the full story here: US migrants seek refugee status in Canada

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