Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has turned down a White House invitation to celebrate the new regional free trade agreement in Washington with U.S President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, ABC News reported Monday.
“While there were recent discussions about the possible participation of Canada, the prime minister will be in Ottawa this week for scheduled Cabinet meetings and the long-planned sitting of Parliament,” Gagnon Trudeau spokesperson Chantal Gagnon said, adding that Trudeau spoke with López Obrador by phone and “wished him a successful meeting with Trump.”
Gagnon said the new treaty that took effect on July 1 “is good for Canada, the United States and Mexico. It will help ensure that North America emerges stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said Trudeau has less to lose by shunning Trump now that the new treaty is in effect.
“Trudeau losses in Canadian public opinion to be seen chumming with the very unpopular Trump,” Wiseman said. “Trudeau can afford to wait out Trump’s presidency now with less than four months to the U.S. election. Trudeau will still be power after the election, Trump much less likely so,” he added, according to ABC News.