Trudeau Planning Policy Strategy For Trump Era

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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After talking with President Donald Trump Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on a retreat Sunday with his cabinet to plan a Trump strategy. Trudeau is cloistered with key government insiders at a three-day policy planning session in Calgary, Alberta.

Trudeau invited Trump to visit Canada and the two agreed to “meeting soon.”

For the past two weeks, the governing Liberals have shown concern over how Trump will view Canada’s relationship with the U.S. (RELATED: Trudeau Makes Emergency Call To Premiers After Trump’s Inauguration)

On Saturday, Trudeau congratulated Trump on his inauguration. The Prime Minister’s Office has indicated that the phone call focused on the continued importance of the Canada-U.S. trade relationship.

Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “the president had a constructive conversation with prime minister Trudeau of Canada about strengthening the relationship between our two nations.”

“They also discussed setting up additional meetings in the days to come, which we will follow up on,” Spicer said.

By moving international trade minister Chrystia Freeland to the foreign affairs department and appointing former Canadian Army commander Andrew Leslie as her parliamentary secretary, Trudeau has already strengthened his first line of defense as he prepares to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Trump.

The Liberal government is anxiously seeking commonality with the Trump’s administration, with Trudeau even proclaiming a recent town hall appearance that both he and the new American president owe their electoral victories to middle class voters.

Freeland is already familiar with Washington trade negotiators, is friendly with former House Speaker and Trump advisor Newt Gingrich, and has established strong contacts with the Trump transition team.

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