Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins is optimistic Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can strike the right chord with U.S. President Donald Trump. In an interview on BNN, Wilkins said the relative parity in the two nations’ trade balance should spare Canada from the ire Trump has directed at nations with whom the U.S. carries a large trade deficit.
“The Canada-U.S. trade relationship is fairly equal, there’s not a huge deficit, unlike the U.S.-Mexican trade,” Wilkins said on Monday. “I think things look good for Canada.”
Wilkins said Trump’s cadre of business titans in his cabinet bodes well for Canada, as he expects they will underscore the importance of the two nations' economic ties.
“The president is surrounded by very savvy business individuals, and they get it: they understand [the economic ties,]” he said. “We’ve got the largest trading relationship in the world, and we ought to sit down at the table and figure out a way to make it bigger and better.”
Wilkins said Trudeau’s lack of disparaging comments during the heated election campaign was the right move, and should allow the two leaders to work constructively and without any undue political baggage.
“I think the prime minister has played it exactly right: he was very reserved in his comments leading up to the election, he’s been very positive in comments since the election,” he said. “In my opinion, the emphasis ought to be on jobs and job creation: thank the president for giving the greenlight to [Keystone XL] and look for successes to build on.”
“I think [Trudeau has] done exactly the right thing so far.”