Trudeau opens up about advice Obama gave him as he was leaving office

NBCFormer President Barack Obama told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he would have to take a more prominent role in international affairs.

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened up about the advice he received from former President Barack Obama during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
  • According to an upcoming book, Obama told Trudeau he would have to take a more prominent role in international affairs.
  • Trudeau said Canada will assist other nations when the need arises while standing up for its values and interests.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened up about the advice he received from former President Barack Obama during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

According to an upcoming book by former US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes, “The World As It Is,” Obama told Trudeau that he would have to take a more prominent role in international affairs.

“Justin, your voice is going to be needed more,” Obama said, according to an excerpt the book that NBC’s Chuck Todd read aloud to Trudeau in an interview. “You’re going to have to speak out when certain values are threatened.”

After being asked about Obama’s advice, Trudeau said Canada will assist other nations when the need arises while standing up for its values and interests.

“What I took from [Obama’s advice] was something that was deeply reassuring and something I’ve seen all around the world where Canadians are – people recognise that Canadians, when we show up either as, you know, troops on the ground in a peace-keeping mission or as aid workers or as bureaucrats trying to rebuild an economy or help a multilateral institution, Canadians are there to help,” Trudeau said.

“We step up when we need to,” he continued. “We’re going to be polite, but we’re also not going to be pushed around. That need to be firm about projecting our values and defending not just our citizens, but citizens around the world in positive ways is what I consider the responsibility we have as Canadians and what I’ll do as leader.”

Trudeau cited Canadian contributions to World War I and World War II, as well as the role the country has played in peacekeeping missions, foreign aid, and multilateral institutions.

“We are thoughtful. We are engaged. We are polite. We are welcoming, but we’re also firm about our values,” he said.

On Thursday, Canada announced tariffs on US goods in response to tariffs imposed by the US on Canadian aluminium and steel. The Canadian government said the value of the goods subject to tariffs would be around $US12.8 billion, though an analysis by Business Insider found that value to be higher, at $US15.72 billion.

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