As terrifying as it is to watch Donald Trump blatantly threaten North Korea, attempt to take health care away from millions and vehemently deny Russian interference in the U.S. election (and that’s just this week) we thankfully don’t have to deal with him directly here in Canada. But our government does. And if this legendary photo from Trudeau’s first meeting with Trump is any indication, we are not excited about it.
It’s not just handshakes and press conferences though. The Canadian government needs to negotiate with Trump in a very real way. NAFTA talks started in August and resume again this week. One thing Canada is afraid of is Trump pulling the plug on the whole deal. That would have a significant negative impact on Canada’s trade and economy (more detail here). Don’t you worry though, apparently there’s a secret(ish) squad within the Canadian government to deal with Trump and they’re referred to as the ‘Trump Unit’ (how cool is that?).
According to a report by The Canadian Press, the unit is made up of ‘two former trade officials, two senior PMO officials, an ambassador, a writer, a cabinet minister, and it’s run by a young staffer with a reputation for staying cool while smothering political fires.’ It’s like a real-life Canadian version of Scandal.
This team uses ‘war room’ politics to respond to decisions and announcements made by the Trump administration. Primarily, they do quick-response opposition research and strategizing to keep Canada–if not ahead–at least just one step behind whatever Trump is tweeting at the moment.
So it looks like we can rest easy, knowing that there’s a group of qualified Canadians working round the clock to protect us from that Trump behaviour. Well, as long as that ‘behaviour’ doesn’t turn into a nuclear war or whatever.