President Barack Obama sought to reassure his counterparts in Canada and Mexico Wednesday that a potential Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t throw cross-border ties into turmoil, even as he pushed back on the GOP candidate’s platform.
Expressing confidence that immigration wouldn’t be shut off and trade deals would persist, Obama argued against the type of protectionist policies that Trump has espoused on the campaign trail. And he cast the presumptive GOP nominee as a failed historical archetype.
“We’ve had times throughout our history where anti-immigration sentiment is exploited by demagogues,” Obama said. “The language is identical. But guess what? They kept coming, and they kept coming because America offered possibility for their children and grandchildren.”
Convening a final North American leaders’ summit even as the U.S. presidential contest throws crucial cross-border issues into dispute, Obama and his counterparts discussed trade, security and climate change during a day of talks in the Canadian capital.