Canada’s charismatic leader will meet Donald Trump at the White House on Monday. President Trump has gotten to know a spate of foreign leaders over the past two weeks with mixed success. Mr Trudeau will be hoping for a warm reception but will be wary of upsetting America’s temperamental new leader for fear of receiving the same harsh treatment as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Trade issues will be high on the agenda. Trump has vowed to renegotiate NAFTA, but senior members of his administration have suggested Canada won’t be targeted. This is good news for Canadians – they sell 75% of their exports to America – and Trudeau, whose already-falling approval ratings would be harmed by economic distress. Trump is likely to insist that Trudeau axe some of Canada’s increasingly protectionist measures that may violate the current iteration of NAFTA, such as dairy import controls.
Despite these hurdles – and the fact that Trump and Trudeau may never truly see eye to eye – America and Canada’s close relationship is likely to be largely unaffected by the Trump turbulence.