Last week Conservative leader Andrew Scheer visited the UK. You probably didn’t hear much about it. He didn’t dress up in any costumes. He didn’t insult his hosts and he didn’t invite any convicted murderers and terrorists to any of his events.
Hard as it is to believe in the Trudeau era, this Canadian leader’s foreign trip wasn’t about saris, socks or even selfies; it was about trade.
Andrew Scheer went to Britain to build relationships with British leaders and to begin laying the groundwork for a post-Brexit Canada-UK free trade deal. This is a very smart move considering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has alienated us on trade at every turn. The only major trade deals he has been able to sign were the Trans Pacific Partnership and the European Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement—both of which were negotiated by our previous Conservative Government. But then what can one expect from a Canadian Prime Minister who can’t even get goods like grain and oil flowing between his own Provinces?
Justin Trudeau and his team have failed to re-negotiate NAFTA. They failed to secure any meaningful trade deals with the world’s two largest economies, China and India. Justin Trudeau also set back any potential deals with these two trade giants with his smug and insulting behavior—but then what do you expect from a guy who to tries to lecture the Pope.
While Mr. Trudeau remains focused on his pipe dream of a free trade deal with his friends in Communist China, Andrew Scheer is focused on achievable results. Great Britain is our friend and our largest European trading partner. Securing a bilateral free-trade deal with Great Britain should and will be a priority for the next Conservative Government. As Mr. Scheer stated last month:
“I believe the first place we should look is to our cousins across the pond, who themselves are in a moment of generational change and newfound independence.”
Andrew Scheer is an example of how a Canadian leader ought to conduct business on the world stage. Andrew Scheer and his team did their homework before they left so there would be no surprises. He went in with a specific goal. He had constructive meetings with several key members of the British cabinet including Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Trade Minister Liam Fox and Prime Minister Theresa May.
Moreover, he restrained himself from telling his British counterparts how to run their country and from insisting they must adopt his personal values into any potential trade deal.
No surprises, no snubs, no international incidents, and as a result, no need for any excuses upon his return.
Friends there is hope for Canada on the world stage once again. The world has stopped taking Justin Trudeau seriously, but they’re starting to take notice of Andrew Scheer.
And he did it all without changing costumes.