President Donald Trump sent his best wishes to Canada late Saturday as America’s largest trading partner prepared for annual Canada Day celebrations — despite high tensions thanks to the ongoing trade war.
As the Canadian Press reports, Trump thanked Canada for its “partnership on the global stage” in a message that was addressed not to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but Canadian Governor General Julie Payette — the representative of Queen Elizabeth in Canada. (RELATED: Trudeau Tells People To Stay Home And Buy Canadian)
In the last two weeks, Trump has openly squabbled with Trudeau over numerous trade issues that came to a head at the G7 Summit held near Quebec City. When he arrived back in the U.S., Trump condemned Trudeau for being “dishonest” and the president again accused Canada of protecting its dairy industry with exorbitant tariffs. The two countries remain locked in a trade war over aluminum and steel, and Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on a variety of household items from strawberry jam to ketchup come into effect Sunday.
Nonetheless, Trump offered his “sincerest congratulations to all Canadians” on the 151st anniversary of Confederation — when Great Britain proclaimed Canada a self-governing member of the empire.
Trump’s message, transmitted through the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, reminded both countries that, despite the trade quarrels, the U.S. and Canada “stand firmly together against threats to our shared democratic values and our freedoms and way of life.”
Trump added that the two allies must “treasure our close bonds.’
“Your partnership on the global stage, and your condemnation of autocratic regimes, send a strong signal in support of human rights, prosperity, and security around the world,” the embassy statement read.
The current antipathy between Trump and Trudeau is arguably nothing new. President John Kennedy and Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker could barely stand being in the same room together, and Lyndon Johnson once shook Lester Pearson by his suit jacket’s lapels because the prime minister had criticized the president’s Vietnam War policies.