Canada will soon sign onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama said, going further than the country’s new prime minister has committed.
Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke Thursday in Manila after their first bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. In his remarks, Obama seemed to cast the Pacific trade agreement as a done deal, while Trudeau has declined to take a position other than to say it will be reviewed in parliament.
“We are both soon to be signatories of the TPP agreement,” Obama said. “That’s another area we can continue to have important discussions,” he said.
“I know Justin has to agree with what’s happened, but we think that after that process has taken place, Canada, the United States and the other countries that are here can establish the high-standards agreement that protects labor, protects the environment, protects the kind of high value-added goods and services that we both excel in,” Obama said...
Unscripted response of rookie prime minister garners his worst week in the press since before campaign
...From a Canadian perspective, it was on tone that an unscripted Trudeau most came up short.
He may have denounced the Paris attacks in strong terms in private but, in his public communications, he did not rise to the occasion.
There was a glaring disconnect between Trudeau’s quasi-dogmatic insistence that it was business as usual on the refugee and the war on ISIS fronts and the public’s sense that the attacks were a watershed event that deserved a fuller airing.
He seemed to shrug off the well-intentioned concern of many of his provincial and municipal allies as to his refugee timetable. When federal reassurance was needed, it was offered on a piecemeal basis and usually short on specifics.
Against the backdrop of the carnage in Paris, some otherwise endearing features of Trudeau’s political persona, starting with his willingness to pose for selfies on demand, turned into liabilities. There are times when glamour is the opposite of gravitas.
Media reviews of Trudeau’s post-Paris week were particularly scathing in Quebec, the province whose links with France are the strongest. Cartoonists had a field day at his expense...