Trump and Trudeau on U.S. and Canada trade, North American jobs, and advancement of women business leaders.
After official visits from British and Japanese heads of government, U.S. President Donald J. Trump is meeting with self-proclaimed feminist and Liberal Party member Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
While handshakes, a joint press conference, and sharing priorities to solidify the two countries’ strong alliance are scheduled, it’s the new United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs task force that’s in the limelight.
While talks of U.S. and Canada trade and North American jobs at large take precedent, speaking on the advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders is something the two heads of state “align on”.
This morning, they kicked off a roundtable discussion on women’s economic issues with an impressive turnout.
President Trump began the meeting by stating, “We must ensure our economy is a place where women can work and thrive” while addressing barriers facing female entrepreneurs.
After the President’s entrepreneur First Daughter Ivanka Trump—an advocate for paid maternity leave and childcare funding—briefly expressed her gratitude for the “tremendous role models” in attendance, the following North American business leaders introduced themselves at the table:
- Dina Powell, Economic Assistant to President Trump, senior counselor for economic initiatives, and ex-global head of corporate engagement at Goldman Sachs Foundation
- Dawn Farrell, CEO of TransAlta Corp.
- Monique Leroux, President of the International Co-operative Alliance
- Tina Lee, CEO of Canada’s T&T Supermarket supermarket
- Carol Stephenson, of GM’s board of directors, representing GM CEO Mary Barra
- Tamara Lundgren, CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries
- Elyse Allan, General Electric Canada
- Annette Verschuren, chair of the board of directors for Investissement Quebec
- Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture North America
- Linda Hazenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corporation
Also participating in the roundtable were Katie Telford, Trudeau’s chief of staff, and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, all responsible for establishing the council and recruiting this compilation of influential women leaders.
Canadian Cabinet Clout
In 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau made headlines for building a Cabinet comprised of 50 percent women. Trudeau called this group “one that looks like Canada.”
“Our team reached out and suggested as it is an important part of the prime minister’s agenda and of our economic growth plan,” a Canadian official said. “It seemed like a natural fit given their commitments in their platform as well.”
Essential Trade Partners
While Trump wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and suggested strong border taxation, Trudeau called the two countries each other’s “most essential partner” during the joint press conference.
He cited the might of the nations’ trade relationship and $2 billion in daily U.S. and Canada trade that takes place along the world’s longest undefended border.
“No other neighbors in the entire world are as fundamentally linked as we are,” Canada’s Prime Minister added.
We’ll work tirelessly to create growth and jobs in Canada & the US. Read our joint statement here: https://t.co/fNl9Q7Knyk
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 13, 2017
And when it comes to jobs, the two stand in solidarity. “We both want to make sure that hardworking folks can go to work at a good job,” said Trudeau.