President Trump Meets With Canada's Justin Trudeau at White House

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed during a visit to the White House on Monday that his country would continue to welcome refugees, even as President Donald Trump defended his efforts to bar them from USA soil as "common sense".

Trudeau had a strong rapport with former Democratic President Barack Obama, prompting pundits to describe their relationship as a "bromance".

While the two leaders applauded the robust and interdependent trade relationship between Canada and the United States, the issue of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) loomed large.

During a joint press conference, Trump said it was an honor to host a "great friend, neighbor and ally".

Trudeau is greeted by Trump prior to holding talks at the White House. "Trudeau is just a brilliant leader".

"President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA".

This afternoon the PM and the president will deliver a progress report at a joint press conference.

The 45-year-old Canadian prime minister has pledged to speak "frankly and respectfully" with the new occupant of the White House.

"Goods and services do cross the border each day.we have to allow this free flow of goods and services and we have to be aware of the integration of our economies".

What that will mean for the renegotiation of NAFTA is yet unclear, or for Trump's demands that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members (such as Canada) carry more of the load. The northern border has two sides.

Japan, on the other hand, is likely breathing a sigh of relief after a meeting between Shinzo Abe and Trump - followed by a weekend of golf at Trump's palatial home in Florida - went off without any major incident.

A Trudeau spokeswoman told the Associated Press the prime minister plans to discuss Canada's immigration and refugee policy with Trump.

Manhattan property mogul Trump won the White House in a shock November election victory over Hillary Clinton after painting a dark picture of a country in turmoil and vowing to put "America first".

Mostly it set the tone for what Trudeau needed to accomplish in Washington.

Trump and Trudeau also adddressed immigration and security amid a legal battle in the United States over Trump's executive order to temporarily bar for certain immigrants and refugees.

When The Donald banned refugees from entering the United States, the Canadian premier responded with a tweet declaring that those "fleeing persecution, terror and war" would be welcomed to his country.

Trudeau tweeted last week the USA and Canada need to work together to strengthen the middle class. The US, in turn, sends 18 percent of its exports to Canada.

  • Rogelio Becker