Calling this week’s meeting between Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump a “pre-arranged first date in an organized marriage,” Conservative trade portfolio critic Gerry Ritz possibly came as close as we’ve heard to complementing the Prime Minister.
“The first rule is ‘do no harm,’ and I think that’s exactly what happened. Nothing got done, but he did no harm, and that’s not a bad thing,” said the former federal agriculture minister, discussing the Trudeau-Trump meeting on RealAg Radio on Tuesday.
“The unfortunate part is we have no definition of what ‘tweak’ means. NAFTA isn’t being torn up north of the border, which is a good thing, but at the end of the day, does ‘tweak’ mean our dairy industry is under duress? I think that’s a given,” he noted, referring to President Trump saying his administration plans on “tweaking” the Canada-U.S. trade relationship.
Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose offered the services of both Ritz and former trade minister Ed Fast to the Liberals, but Ritz said they did not hear anything back.
What would a Conservative government have done differently? Should Trudeau have pushed Trump on tough issues (ie. dairy access in ag)? Also, how does Canada’s participation in the first TPP meeting without the U.S. in Chile next month affect Canada’s hand in negotiating with the new American administration? Here’s what Ritz had to say: