Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, July 7, 2017
Trudeau attends summit marked by widening Trump-Merkel rift
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived today in Hamburg for the G20 Summit, having already staked out firm positions on free trade, migration and climate change that are at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump.
All three issues top an ambitious agenda set by the summit’s host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“One shouldn’t expect any easy conversations in Hamburg,” Merkel said in address to the German parliament last week.
“Whoever believes that the world’s problems can be solved by isolationism and protectionism is mistaken,” she added in remarks clearly directed at Trump.
Trudeau can’t afford to be so blunt, especially given the interconnectedness of the Canadian and United States economies.
“We do have clear disagreements regarding the United States or from the United States on climate and trade issues among others,” Trudeau told reporters travelling with him this week in Europe.
Even so, Trudeau said the world can still work with the U.S. on prickly issues such as meeting the goals of the Paris climate change agreement, even if the president isn’t on board.
“We certainly see from the American people, whether it’s through their state-level actors, their governors or their large municipalities or indeed American businesses, there is still a very clear will to move forward on climate action,” Trudeau said.
University of Toronto professor and G20 research group co-director John Kirton is keeping a close eye on the discussions on climate change.
“Climate change could be a disaster if both sides continue to insist on the somewhat theological issue of the Paris Agreement that was forged in 2015, and from which Donald Trump has just said the United States would withdraw,” Kirton told CBC News.(Source: CBC News)