BERLIN (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a German newspaper on Friday the leaders of G20 countries meeting in Hamburg would tell U.S. President Donald Trump he should take the lead in addressing climate change.
Trump decided last month to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris accord on climate change, saying it would wipe out U.S. jobs. Climate policy is expected to be a significant bone of contention at the G20 summit that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting on Friday and Saturday.
“We’ll tell him it’s important to take a lead role in tackling climate change and creating good jobs,” Trudeau told mass-selling Bild newspaper.
In a second interview, Trudeau told Der Spiegel magazine that he regretted Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris deal and added: “We’re in close contact with President Trump to see where we can work together ... He has signalled to us that he is interested in taking action against environmental pollution.”
Trudeau told Bild there was no doubt that climate change was happening, and it was a challenge but also an opportunity to invest. He added the same was true of global trade. Trump has advocated more protectionist measures.
“Instead of saying we’ll stop trade, we need to create opportunities for smaller companies and protect workers’ rights with progressive trade agreements like CETA,” Trudeau said, referring to the EU-Canada free trade deal.
Disputes over cheese and pharmaceuticals are holding up the start of CETA, which both sides have championed as a landmark deal for open markets against a protectionist tide.
Trudeau also told Der Spiegel that Canada had done what it could on CETA and it was now up to Europe to decide “whether it believes in trade with Canada or not”.
Asked about China, the Canadian Liberal leader said it had understood that trade with other countries was a way to alleviate poverty. Trudeau said Canada was talking to China about workers’ rights, environmental protection and topics “where China has not always felt comfortable”.
“I think it’s important to formulate clear rules based on principles,” he said.
Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Michael Nienaber and Mark Heinrich