North American leaders defend global trade at summit

North American Leaders to Discuss Climate Change in Canada

2 – Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and USA presidents Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower all gave encore performances, each addressing Parliament twice during their time in office.

“Thank you for this extraordinary welcome, which tempts me to just shut up and leave because it can’t get any better than this”, Obama began.

He spoke for almost an hour. Obama is making what is likely to be his last official visit to Canada as US president.

During the speech, Mr Obama highlighted the ties that bind the U.S. and Canada, with thousands of people routinely crossing the border for work or tourism.

Most NATO countries do not meet the two per cent target, but some do, including the US which spends 3.5 per cent, France which spends 2.2 per cent, and the United Kingdom which spends two per cent, according to the World Bank.

The Canadians know a good thing when they see it and are also very aware of the looming madness that the USA appears way too close to enabling.

President Obama was also greeted with a lengthy standing ovation as he arrived in the House of Commons. He anxious about United States future if a populist like Trump wins presidential elections.

Obama was greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, before they approached a crowd of schoolchildren to shake hands and exchange high-fives.

Canada’s global trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, noted that the meeting of the three pro-trade leaders was taking place at a pivotal moment. Obama thanked Canada for helping to broker negotiations between Cuba and America, and cheekily jabbed at this country’s penchant for cheap tropical vacations.

He described the populist leaders as “simplistic”, explaining that it was complex and hard to run a country.

While the burden of reaching the clean power target will fall on Obama’s successor, the President’s top climate adviser, Brian Deese, said market forces would also drive progress.

Following an early morning jog with Trudeau, Pena Nieto at the press conference praised the Trudeau administration for its inclusive politics “in a world where hate speech, racism and discrimination still persist”.

Pena Nieto was asked if he stood by comments he made in the past comparing Trump to Hitler and Mussolini.

Obama says the process of breaking from the 28-nation bloc will be hard. He said concerns about immigrants had been exploited by politicians in the past, but he insisted he wasn’t anxious Americans will follow that path.

While Obama did not mention Donald Trump by name, he took a clear swipe at the Republican presidential candidate’s heated anti-trade rhetoric during a “Three Amigos” summit with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts.

Obama says similar rhetoric has been used in the past about Irish, Polish and Italian immigrants.

“We’ve had times throughout our history where anti-immigration sentiment is exploited by demagogues”, said Mr Obama.

“The countries of North America have pursued a different strategy and one that has worked well for us”, Earnest said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will always be people who want to turn inward, but that working together will bring growth and benefits.

Earlier, at a news conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it’s “a little sad” that this will be the last chance for the current leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States to get together, “given President Obama’s impending retirement, something – something he pointed out to us a couple of times, I should add, usually with a little smile”. Trump also pledged to withdraw from a pending trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations, including the US and Canada.

Six days after Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, felt on both sides of the Atlantic, the shock British decision to go it alone topped the agenda of talks in Ottawa.

Delivering a plea for regional cooperation and free trade, Obama argued – in a thinly-veiled rebuke to the real estate magnate – for growing the United States’ relationship with Mexico, “our neighbor, our friend”.

“We will destroy the terrorist group ISIL, we will destroy them”, Obama said, referring to Daesh.

Trump also opposes the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was signed in February but may not be ratified by the United States given increasing domestic resistance.

The leaders also discussed plans to replace the much-maligned North American Free Trade Agreement with Obama’s preferred TPP trade deal – a measure that’s faced fierce political opposition and is now awaiting congressional approval.

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