Donald Trump welcomes Justin Trudeau to the White House
The Canadian and US leader vowed to “navigate their complexities” and “remain closest of allies and friends”.
President Donald Trump branded Canada a “great friend, neighbour and ally”.
He promised the two nations would maintain strong economic ties.
Mr Trump said: “We are two nations who share more than a border- we share values, the love of freedom and collective defence.
“American and Canadian troops have gone to battle together and fought wars together and forged bonds.
“In these dangerous times it is more important than ever that we continue to strengthen our alliance.
“We continue to work in common cause against terrorism and common co-operation toward reciprocal trade and shared growth.
“Both our countries are stronger when we join forward in international congress.
“We should co-ordinate closely and we will co-ordinate closely to keep wealth on our continent and to keep everyone safe.
“Prime Minister Trudeau, I pledge to work with you in pursuit of our many shared interests, this includes a stronger trading relationship, safe cross border travel and migration and close partnership on domestic and international security.
“We have the opportunity to build even more bridges.”
Speaking in both French and English, Mr Trudeau declared “Canada and and the US will always remain each other’s most essential partner.”
Mr Trump defended his immigration policy and vowed to "get the really bad ones out" as he was quizzed on the strength of the US-Canada border.
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He added: "We are not totally confident the northern border is secure."
The leaders pledged to build strong economic ties
Earlier today Mr Trudeau opened the talks on economic ties and is said to be keen to avoid tension over immigration.
Mr Trudeau and the US President are sharply at odds over immigration but the pair were all smiles as they met each other outside the White House.
A smiling Mr Trudeau shook Mr Trump's hand on arrival for what were his first talks there since the President assumed power on January 20.
Mr Trudeau told reporters he expected the two would "find a lot of common ground."
We have the opportunity to build even more bridges
He said he would look to "defend and demonstrate Canadian values," but do so "respectfully and not from an ideological standpoint."
The four-hour visit started with a private meeting with aides then joining on before a round table discussion with female executives, including Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
Mr Trump's vow to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among Canada, the United States and Mexico has unnerved Canadian officials, even though he has singled out Mexico in his criticism of the free trade deal.
Canada is said to be keen to avoid escalating tensions over immigration
Ivanka Trump sat next to the Canadian PM during a meeting on women executives
Canada sends 75 per cent of its exports to the United States.
But since Mr Trump’s election victory Canadians have become more supportive of the deal according to a poll from the Angus Reid Institute.
44 per cent of the 1,508 surveyed said NAFTA had benefited Canada, up from 25 percent from a poll last June.
Mr Trudeau had a strong rapport with former Democratic President Barack Obama, prompting pundits to describe their relationship as a "bromance.”
In the US today to strengthen ties with our neighbour & create more jobs in both countries – thanks, President Trump for the welcome. pic.twitter.com/X7DX3fsrfN
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 13, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2017
But the Canadian PM has already taken aim at Mr Trump over his “Muslim ban” which saw the US president attempt to ban refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the states.
During the row, Mr Trudeau took to Twitter to say refugees were welcome in Canada.
But it is thought the pair will put their differences aside to focus on trade.
Duke University professor Stephen Kelly, former US deputy chief of mission to Ottawa, said: "You don't have to be a genius to see there are some stark differences between them.
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"But is this the time to be poking people in the eye? I would say it is not. … In some ways the president is a guy for whom personal relationships may be even more important."
Canadian pollster Nik Nanos said Mr Trudeau, who remains popular at home more than a year after winning a surprise Liberal majority government, faces the same pressure all Canadian leaders do when they engage with US presidents: keep the economic ties tight but do not appear too chummy or subordinate.
He said: "This meeting is more about avoiding pitfalls than trying to engage on some of the big issues. It's definitely the policy of laying low."
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