Canada PM Trudeau takes shot at Trump protectionism at Davos forum

This article is more than 12 months old

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND:  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticised the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.

In a speech alluding to Mr Trump and his threat to pull the US out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), Mr Trudeau said his administration is "working hard to make sure that our neighbour to the south recognises how good Nafta is, and (Nafta) has benefited not just our economy, but his and the world's."

Canada had earlier agreed at talks in Tokyo to join 10 other countries in resurrecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Mr Trudeau, whose country has the presidency of the Group of Seven industrialised nations this year, said gender equality would be a priority in "everything the G7 does this year".

He also referenced campaigns against sexual misconduct and women's marches in US cities last weekend, in which speakers blasted Mr Trump for policies they said hurt women.

"MeToo, TimesUp, the Women's March, these movements tell us we need to have a critical discussion on women's rights, equality and power dynamics of gender," said Mr Trudeau.

"Sexual harassment for example, in business and in government, is a systemic problem and it is unacceptable. As leaders, we need to recognise and act to show that truly time is up."

Mr Trudeau also called on global leaders to not forget "the people who aren't here in Davos and never will be".

"The people in this room are immensely privileged. We owe it to society to use this privilege for good. We should ask ourselves: Do we want to live in a world where the wealthy hide in their gated enclaves while those around them struggle or do we want to create a world grounded in the notion of fairness?"

Tomorrow, Mr Trump is expected to urge investors to take advantage of his deregulatory and tax cut policies, which Democrats describe as a giveaway to the wealthy. - REUTERS, AFP