Gov. Phil Scott (R-Vt.) called President Donald Trump’s rhetoric toward Canada “disrespectful” after meeting with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Sunday.
“I would say that Mr. Trump — our president — in the past has made many comments that I believe are disrespectful, and maybe that’s his negotiating tactic, but it isn’t one that I would use,” Scott said in reference to words used by Trump as he and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau sparred this summer over trade and the G7 summit, after which Trump described Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak.”
As the Canadian Press reports, Scott was meeting with Couillard as part of a weekend conference between New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers held at the Stowe Mountain Resort on Mount Mansfield in the Green Mountain State.
Vermont and Quebec are avid trading partners with an estimated 17,000 Vermont jobs a direct result of trade between the two.
Scott suggested that political labels should not take precedence when governments are negotiating trade deals that will continue to have consequences for years and decades to come. The Republican governor said Trump’s confrontational style is not just limited to his rhetoric against Canada.
“I wouldn’t say the tone out of Washington and the president is necessarily all targeted towards Canada — I’ve seen it in other areas,” Scott told reporters. “Even within his own country he does the same.”
Scott said governors have to do what is necessary for the survival of their states. “And that’s why it’s so important for us to have these types of events. We may not be able to control … what the president says, but we can control what we say and do.”