Justin Trudeau White House
The long-awaited visit of Justin Trudeau in the US capital has finally begun.
The plane of the Canadian Prime Minister landed Wednesday afternoon at Andrews Air Force Base, where he was greeted by a military band and an honor guard.
During his three-day trip to Washington, the Prime Minister will meet course President Barack Obama, but also representatives of the State Department, groups of experts and academics.
On leaving the aircraft, Mr. Trudeau was hosted by the Canadian Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton. The Prime Minister’s wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, Xavier and three children, Ella-Grace and Hadrian, are also part of the trip.
The Trudeau family will be the guest of honor on Thursday evening, a state dinner at the White House – a first in 19 years, since the visit of Jean Chrétien in 1997.
Before leaving Ottawa, Trudeau told the Commons that a healthy US-Canada relationship is essential to Canada’s prosperity.
“Few relationships are as important to Canada that a good relationship with the United States for jobs, economic growth, to trade, to build the types of opportunities that we truly need. ”
“For 10 years, these relations have been strained – and now we are pleased to be able to re-engage ourselves in a wide range of issues (…)”, he argued.
On the trail of JFK
Mr. Trudeau activities will very probably followed by the US media, who find in him all the attributes of a celebrity. The Prime Minister, sometimes compared to President John F. Kennedy, was the subject of a Sunday rather flattering report to the general affairs magazine 60 Minutes, the CBS television network.
The West Wing, it already expects a very good relationship between the two leaders, who met in November at the G20 and APEC, and have crossed in December at the Paris conference climate. “I think he develops a special relationship between the president and prime minister,” said the senior US official Mark Feierstein.
Some believe that the summit between the two men will conclude a bilateral agreement on climate change, adopting new security measures at borders and settle an old trade dispute over softwood lumber.
It is certain, in any case, Messrs. Obama and Trudeau will discuss the economy, border trade, but also the environment, following the Paris conference. The environment minister, Catherine McKenna, is also part of the delegation of several ministers accompanying Mr. Trudeau.
If the Prime Minister sees the visit a sign of warming between Ottawa and Washington, the opposition sees more of the political spectacle. Conservative MP Tony Clement, who was industry minister, argued that they should not expect spectacular results from these meetings with a US president in late regime faces a constantly hostile Congress.
During his trip to Washington, Prime Minister Trudeau will also attend a luncheon hosted by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and will deposit a wreath at the National Cemetery (military) Arlington, across the Potomac in Virginia.