Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump hold a joint press conference in Washington, D.C.
Thank you. Prime Minister Trudeau, on behalf of all Americans, I thank you for being with us today. It is my honour to host such a great friend, neighbour, and ally at the White House – a very special place.
This year Canada celebrates the 150th year of Confederation. For Americans, this is one of the many milestones in our friendship and we look forward -- very much forward I must say – to many more to come. Our two nations share much more than a border. We share the same values, we share the love and a truly great love of freedom, and we share a collective defence. American and Canadian troops have gone to battle together, fought wars together and forged the special bonds that come when two nations have shed their blood together – which we have.
In these dangerous times, it is more important than ever that we continue to strengthen our vital alliance. The United States is deeply grateful for Canada’s contribution to the counter-ISIS effort. Thank you.
And we continue to work in common, and in common cause against terrorism and work in common cooperation toward reciprocal trade and shared growth. We understand that both of our countries are stronger when we join forces in matters of international commerce. Having more jobs in trade right here in North America, is better for both the United States and is also much better for Canada. We should coordinate closely and we will coordinate closely to protect jobs in our hemisphere and keep wealth on our continent – and to keep everyone safe.
Prime Minister, I pledge to work with you in pursuit of our many shared interests. This includes a stronger trading relationship between the United States and Canada. It includes safe, efficient, and responsible cross-border travel and migration, and it includes close partnership on domestic and international security.
America is deeply fortunate to have a neighbour like Canada. We have before us the opportunity to build even more bridges and bridges of cooperation and bridges of commerce. Both of us are committed to bringing greater prosperity and opportunity to our people.
We just had a very productive meeting with women business leaders from the United States and Canada where we discussed how to secure everything that we know – the full power of women can do better than anybody else. We know that.
I just want to say, Mr. Prime Minister, that I’m focused and you’re focused on the important role women play in our economies. We must work to address the barriers faced by women and women entrepreneurs, including access to capital, access to markets, and very importantly, access to networks.
In our discussion today we will focus on improving the ways our government and our governments together can benefit citizens of both the United States and Canada, and in so doing, advance the greater peace and stability of the world.
Mr. Prime Minister, I look forward to working closely with you to build upon our very historic friendship. There are incredible possibilities for us to pursue – Canada and the United States together. Again, thank you for joining us, and I know our discussions will be very, very productive for the future of both countries. Mr. Prime Minister.
RIGHT HONOURABLE JUSTIN TRUDEAU (Prime Minister of Canada): Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us. I’d first like to start by extending my sincere thanks to President Trump for inviting me down to Washington. Any day I get to visit our southern neighbours is a good day in my books – particularly when it’s so nice and warm compared to what it is back home. We are suffering under a significant winter storm that’s hitting our Atlantic provinces particularly harsh, so I just want to send everyone back home my thoughts as they shovel out, and impress on everyone to stay safe.
Today, the President and I had our first meeting, and it was very productive. We had an opportunity to get to know each other better and especially to talk about the unique relationship between Canada and the United States.
For generations, citizens on both sides of the 49th parallel have understood that the bond between our nations is a special one. No other neighbours in the entire world are as fundamentally linked as we are. We’ve fought in conflict zones together, negotiated environmental treaties together, including 1991’s historic air quality agreement, and we’ve entered into ground-breaking economic partnerships that have created good jobs for both of our peoples.
Canadians and Americans alike share a common history as well as people-to-people ties that make us completely and totally integrated. Our workers are connected by trade, transportation and cross-border commerce - our communities relying on each other for security, stability, and economic prosperity. Our families have long lived together and worked together.
We know that, more often than not, our victories are shared. And just as we celebrate together, so too do we suffer loss and heartbreak together. Through it all, the foundational pillar on which our relationship is built is one of mutual respect, and that’s a good thing because, as we know, relationships between neighbours are pretty complex and we won’t always agree on everything, but because of our deep, abiding respect for one another, we’re able to successfully navigate those complexities and still remain the closest of allies and friends.
Make no mistake, at the end of the day, Canada and the US will always remain each other’s most essential partner. And today’s conversations have served to reinforce how important that is for both Canadians and Americans. As we know, 35 US states list Canada as their largest export market, and our economies benefit from the over $2 billion in two-way trade that takes place every single day. Millions of good, middle class jobs on both sides of the border depend on this crucial partnership. Maintaining strong economic ties is vital to our mutual success, and we’re going to continue to work closely together over the coming years so that Canadian and American families can get ahead.
I’d like to highlight just a few of the specifics that President Trump and I discussed today. At the end of the day, the president and I share a common goal. We both want to make sure that hardworking folks can go to work at a good job, put food on the table for their families, and save up to take a vacation every once in a while. That’s what we’re trying to do here.
Today, we reiterated that our nations are committed to collaborating on energy infrastructure projects that will create jobs while respecting the environment, and as we know, investing in infrastructure is a great way to create the kind of economic growth that our countries so desperately need.
In that same vein, we know that ensuring equal opportunities for women in the workforce is essential for growing the economy and maintaining American and Canadian competitiveness on the world stage. As such, the president and I have agreed to the creation of the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. This initiative is more than just about dollars and sense, this is about ensuring that women have access to the same opportunities as men, and prioritizing the support and empowerment of women who are senior business leaders and entrepreneurs. In doing so, we’ll grow the Canadian and American economies, and help our businesses prosper.
And finally, President Trump and I have agreed to work together to stop opioid trafficking across our border. The increase in illegal opioid use in our society is nothing short of a tragedy. We will do all we can to protect Canadians and Americans. Ladies and gentlemen, President Trump, I know that if our countries continue to work together, our citizens will be the winners.
History has demonstrated time and again that in order to tackle our most pressing issues, both foreign and domestic, we must work with our closest allies, learn from each other and stand in solidarity as a united voice. With a level of economic and social integration that is unmatched on the world stage, Canada and the United States will forever be a model example of how to be good neighbours.
Winston Churchill once said:
“That long Canadian frontier from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans guarded only by neighbourly respect and honourable obligations is an example to every country and a pattern for the future of the world.”
That, my friends, is the very essence of the Canada-US relationship.
I look forward to working with President Trump over the coming years to nurture and build upon this historic partnership. Once again, it’s a tremendous pleasure to be here in Washington.