An Obama-era ambassador to Canada came to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s rescue Monday, condemning President Donald Trump’s “disruptive” tweets and the comments of key administration officials on the Sunday news shows.
“That’s what happened here. These guys just pulled away and punched Canada in the face, and I think it was a line crossed and a bridge too far,” Bruce Heyman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Canada from 2014-2017, told CBC News.
“They owe you an apology.”
Over the weekend, Trump tweeted several angry missives about Trudeau, and Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro commented that there is a “special place in hell” for the Canadian prime minister.
“As an American I hate this,” Heyman told CBC, adding that the Trump administration’s hostility could drive Canada away as a trading partner.
“I would rather [Canada] continue this great relationship here, but unfortunately our president is being incredibly disruptive and forcing you to rethink those relationships going forward,” Heyman said.
The former ambassador noted that Canada remains the largest destination for American exports and says any collapse in trade between the two countries would be detrimental to the U.S. economy.
“[Trump] wants to move all of that manufacturing back to the States, [but] we don’t have people to actually do this work,” Heyman told CBC.
“There are more jobs currently posted than there are people looking for work in the United States, and we’ve cut immigration pretty substantially,” he noted.
Heyman suggested the historic U.S.-Canada relationship may have been permanently affected by all this undiplomatic talk.
“It’s kind of like … if you were sitting with a friend and then out of the blue, you just punched them in the face. The wounds will heal, but the questions [is] how does the relationship get impacted?”