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In stark contrast to Trudeau’s meeting with the Trumps on Wednesday, the PM’s visit to Mexico was met with fanfare, warm welcomes and, yes, a literal red carpet. The Trudeaus landed in Mexico City on Thursday to meet with President Enrique Pena Niento and wife Angelica Rivera. While the D.C. trip was the strictly diplomatic (smiling seemed to be reserved for posed photos only), the Mexican first couple pulled out all the stops for Justin and Sophie. The second leg of what seems to be a Trudeau NAFTA tour was no less busy, but looked infinitely more enjoyable.

JT seemed to spend a lot of the Washington trip tip-toeing around his disagreements with Donald Trump. Considering the personal differences between the two–the young feminist pretty boy vs. the alleged racist sex offender–disagreements aren’t surprising. While Trudeau tends to emphasize their similarities when he speaks publicly about the president, it’s obvious there’s no love lost between them. That doesn’t seem to be the case with President Nieto, though.

A huge welcome party

We keep talking about that red carpet and here it is. The Trudeaus were greeted with huge Canadian flag banners, an honour guard and a full-blown welcome ceremony at the presidential palace Thursday. Doesn’t everyone look happy and not at all afraid of what the other world leader in the room might say to the press?

Wreath laying and U.S. shading

The best word to describe President Nieto’s relationship with the current U.S. president is ‘tumultuous.’ Trump has said that Mexican immigrants are ‘rapists’ and that they bring crime and drugs into the United States and told his southern neighbour that they will be paying for his proposed border wall. So it’s not a far stretch to read some subtle shade into the first event planned for the Trudeaus: a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial for the combatants in the 1846 American invasion of Mexico. That seems a little symbolic.

Thanks and charity

The Trudeaus then donned emergency vests and helped the Red Cross with relief packages for those impacted by the two devastating earthquakes in Mexico in the past month.

To wrap up the day, Trudeau thanked the Mexican firefighters who traveled to B.C. this summer to help extinguish the wildfires there.

Guest, partner and friend

To conclude the trip Friday Morning, Trudeau addressed the Mexican parliament and (again) engaged in some shading of the United States. He talked about Mexico and Canada’s strong bilateral ties and said, ‘If you were not our neighbour, you would still be our partner and friend. And that, I think, means more than geography ever could.’

He also seemed to reference the NAFTA negotiations, suggesting that if Canada and Mexico approach ‘times of uncertainty and unpredictability’ together, ‘we will succeed.’

Well that was a lot less tense than the U.S. visit. Was that a reflection of how these NAFTA talks are going to pan out?

Trudeau Mexico toast
Getty Images