This morning, at a White House event, President Trump diverged from the prepared agenda to read hand-written remarks that insulted one of America’s closest allies, Canada. (Video below.)
“I want to end and add by saying that Canada, what they’ve done to our dairy farm workers, is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the unprovoked affront soon after and, unlike the American President, kept a much cooler head. (Video below.)
The crowd laughed when Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait gave Trudeau the opportunity to “give your reaction to this constructive dialogue,” but the Prime Minister handled himself with dignity.
Trudeau showed a command of the situation, pointing out that every country has a complex relationship with trade, balancing the economic engine it can create with the need to ensure those benefits strengthen the middle-class. He also discussed the dangers of nationalism, saying “if you end up going down that highly protectionistic route, if you’re creating barriers and tariff walls and what have you, you end up slowing down economic growth, and everyone ends up suffering, including and especially the middle class.”
“We’re not going to overreact,” Trudeau continued. “We’re going to lay out the facts and we’re going to have substantive conversations about how to improve the situation.”
Agree with Trudeau on trade or not, it’s difficult not to look across the board and yearn for the leadership of someone who understands the issues and cares about their impact on the people of his country. It’s also worth noting that for all the “snowflake” talk from the right, unlike our notoriously thin-skinned President, notice how petty insults seem to bounce off Trudeau. You probably should not expect a late night Twitter tantrum from the Prime Minister.
Trudeau’s full response can be viewed below, followed by Trump’s.