Ivanka Trump was all smiles as she sat next to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife during the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and Gala and Washington, DC.
Trudeau sat between his wife, Sophie, and Trump as they enjoyed dinner their dinner together on Tuesday evening as part of the three-day Fortune summit.
The prime minister was the keynote speaker for the gala Tuesday evening when he explained why he’s hoping to get President Donald Trump to include progressive ideas like protections for women, the environment, and labor in a new NAFTA agreement.
And just the day before, the first daughter, who is also the Senior White House Advisor spoke during a gala where she called for a longterm congressional fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that her father decided to end in September.
After Trudeau’s discussion at the gala, he and Ivanka Trump spoke with high school students. The pair also posed for photos with the students.
When Trudeau meets with the president on Wednesday, he will try to persuade the US leader to focus on Mexico as a source of potential problems at talks to update NAFTA.
Although Trudeau officials were confident Trump would mostly target Mexico as the three nations started to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Washington has slapped duties on Canadian Bombardier airliners and lumber exports in recent months and talked tough on dairy and wine.
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Trudeau would ‘explain really clearly to the President … that Canada is not America’s problem’.
Freeland, who says Canada buys more from the United States than China, Britain and Japan combined, told CTV television on Sunday that Trudeau’s message to Trump at their White House meeting would be: ‘We are your biggest client.’
Trump has threatened to scrap the 1994 pact unless changes are made to address issues such as a $64 billion deficit with Mexico.
Negotiators start the fourth of seven planned rounds of talks near Washington on Wednesday.
Freeland describes the US administration as the most protectionist since the 1930s while noting the United States runs a surplus in the trade of goods and services with Canada.
Canada has so far shunned confrontation with Washington, stressing instead the merits of NAFTA and free trade. By no means everyone south of the border is convinced.