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US Elections: “Worry Won't Help Us,” Says Canadian Ambassador |  US Election 2024

US Elections: “Worry Won't Help Us,” Says Canadian Ambassador | US Election 2024

The results of next fall's U.S. presidential election worry citizens and elected officials on both sides of the border. The Canadian government is hard at work, traveling to the four corners of the United States to prepare the ground.

Canadian Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman spoke with host Daniel Thibault. Corridors of powerAs the 2024 election dawns, the work on the ground.


Corridors of power : Two weeks ago, with the Canadian delegation and Prime Minister Trudeau, you said: Trump doesn't care about us. Why Shouldn't Trump Concern Us?

Kirsten Hillman : We have already done business with President Trump. We know him, we know the people around him, Mr. Both the people around Trump and the people who influence the policies he makes.

Justin Trudeau and Kirsten Hillman speak to the media at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) convention on May 21, 2024 in Philadelphia.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick

Mr. Will it be harder to have a conversation with Trump if he is elected for a second term compared to the first?

I would say it would be difficult. Donald Trump operates differently: his circle of advisers is smaller and he writes policies differently, but now we know him and know him. I met him five or six times.

Personal relationships are important, even with people whose principles don't always align. We have those relationships and that helps us.

Mr. Trump has an unpredictable side, doesn't he?

Yes and no. Last time he implemented the policies he wanted, but we succeeded in removing them. Tariffs on aluminum and steel: He put them on, then took them off. Not because we asked him. Because we had allies across the country [les États-Unis] Who said to him: No it doesn't apply to us.

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What challenges do you foresee in the next administration in the White House?

As with any management, you really need to understand their priorities. What are the policies they want to put forward and how can we be partners if possible or how can we maneuver to prevent this from affecting us?

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump.

During Donald Trump's mandate, he met several times with US President Justin Trudeau to, among other things, renegotiate NAFTA terms. (archive photo)

Photo: The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick

Mr. Canada may not be pleased with the tariff measures Trump is showing. Should this concern us?

I find that worry does not help us. What helps us is preparation.

Knowing how to talk to the people who help develop its policies to demonstrate very clearly and truthfully that these policies, if implemented in Canada, would not help them achieve their goals.

Mr. This isn't the first time a Canadian campaign has teamed up with the Trump team. Is your approach different?

What's different is that the last time we had very specific objectives was during the negotiationsNAFTA. We were on the defensive.

At this point, it's a question of raising the facts across the country, showing the extent to which every community, every state depends on Canada for safety, security, economy, and investments.

How does Canada carry out this kind of work on the ground without interfering with American political propaganda?

What we are doing is emphasizing, cementing relationships across the country [les États-Unis] – Both the Democratic and Republican parties are strong. These relationships are very important. Under a Trump administration under a Biden administration.

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When President Biden and the Democrats created the law IRA In green technology, for starters, they had restrictions on Canadian products, and through relationships with Democrats and Republicans, they were able to get exemptions for Canada.

Kirsten Hillman chats with Daniel Thibault.

Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, is Daniel Thibeault's guest on “Les glaces du verre.”

Photo: Radio-Canada

What is the challenge for Canada from a diplomatic perspective?

Canada is vital to the US economy, energy and national security, but Americans don't realize this as much as they should. That is the challenge.

It's about making sure they understand how vital we are to them, especially now when the world is so turbulent.

When international trade is really affected by difficulties,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​hassles that we are lucky to be neighbours, we should not take this for granted, but rather redouble our efforts, be partners. This is not easy to understand.

Whether it's Trump or Biden, Americans are mostly self-centered, so we need to make an effort to convince them that they really need us.

Chapter Behind the curtain of power An interview with Kirsten Hillman will be broadcast Sunday at 11 a.m. (EDT) on ICI TÉLÉ and ICI. RDI It will also be available for catch-up on the show's website and ICI TOU.TV.

The free trade agreement will be reviewed in 2026. Does it challenge some important issue?

This is a review of the contract, not a negotiation. Canada and the United States had one year of bilateral trade, one of the most significant in the history of our two countries. For us, it works well.

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We are going to sit down with the Americans and the Mexicans to see if the deal is working as we hope.

The responsibility of governments — us, Americans, Mexicans — is to make sure that what we put in is predictable and stable.

Comments in this interview have been edited for brevity and clarity.