US elections: Canada PM congratulates Trump, wants to work on trade, security

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his country is looking forward to "working very closely with president-elect Trump". PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged on Wednesday (Nov 9) to work "very closely" with US President-elect Donald Trump, congratulating him on his surprise victory in the US elections.

"Canada has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States," Trudeau said in a statement.

"We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment and international peace and security."

The billionaire reality TV star and real estate mogul beat most predictions with a stunning defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, senator and first lady who was seeking to become America's first woman president.

The world's biggest trade partners who also share the longest border, Canada and the United States share the world's longest international border and are its biggest trade partners with about US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) in bilateral exchanges each year under the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has vowed to renegotiate.

The 1994 accord, which binds Canada, Mexico and the United States, unites 530 million consumers and represents more than one-quarter of global GDP.

"The relationship between our two countries serves as a model for the world. Our shared values, deep cultural ties and strong integrated economies will continue to provide the basis for advancing our strong and prosperous partnership," Trudeau said.

The Canadian leader had refused in recent days to publicly share his personal preference in the White House race, cautiously acknowledging that change was inevitable with the next presidency.

"There's going to be a need for Canada to reaffirm the issues that are important to Canadians, to our businesses, to travellers and to our place in the world and that's exactly what I'm going to do," he said last week.

In recent months, Trudeau has railed against "isolationism" and "building walls." Although he has not explicitly referenced Donald Trump's populist campaign for the US presidency, he criticized intolerance and politics of fear and division.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.