Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Some Americans Say Friendly Ties with Canada Will Persist despite Trump Tirades

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Some Americans Say Friendly Ties with Canada Will Persist despite Trump Tirades

Article excerpt

U.S.-Canada ties can withstand trade spat

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MONTREAL - U.S. President Donald Trump's sharp comments against Canada over trade are just a blip in an otherwise unbreakable, long-standing friendship, say some Americans living in the northeastern part of the country near the Canadian border.

"In the long term, what we have in common as North Americans will ensure we overcome this period," says John Tousignant, executive director of the Franco-American Centre, based in New Hampshire.

Trump embarked on a post-G7 Twitter tirade on the weekend against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling him "dishonest" and "weak" in the escalating battle over trade tariffs.

The president's surrogates also piled on during Sunday U.S. news shows, with Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro saying there was "a special place in hell" for Trudeau.

Navarro apologized Tuesday.

The jabs left a bitter taste with Phyllis Klein, owner of a marina on Lake Champlain in upstate New York, where about half the clientele are Quebecers.

"I feel that it's certainly detrimental to U.S.-Canadian relations to have this kind of rhetoric out there," said Klein, who will soon turn 80.

Klein, who has operated her business for 38 years, says she she believes Canadians understand the difference between political rhetoric and the opinions of everyday Americans.

"I find it difficult to try to apologize for words that come from the mouths of people in our government, so I don't even try," she said.

"Because they know that the words that are coming out of the president of the United States' mouth are not necessarily the feelings of those of us who value our relationships with our neighbours to the north."

In Vermont, where Trump is particularly unpopular, a few choice words from the president won't keep people away from a popular weekend getaway on either side of the border, says one keen observer.

"There is a large influx both ways of people visiting," said Aki Soga, reader engagement editor for the Burlington Free Press. …

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