Wayne Easter sees hope for Canada-U.S. relations

Malpeque MP Wayne Easter says the Trump administration may not be as "social" as the previous U.S. government, but he left meetings in Washington feeling hopeful about Canada-U.S. relations.

Easter, the co-chair of the Canada-United States interparliamentary group, attended the winter meeting of the National Governors Association, and met with some senators and congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

It was a different experience from past visits, he told CBC's Mainstreet P.E.I.

"The Obama administration was perhaps a little more on the social side and the co-operation side whereas the Trump administration is more this is what we're going to do and we're going to get it done."

That's not all bad, Easter said, because in recent years Capitol Hill was a place where "nothing could get done."

"There has to be a coming together of that whole system so that things get done at the national level," Easter said.

He said he stressed to his U.S. counterparts that if Canada's economy does well, then both economies do well.

'Economies intertwined'

"Step one is building a relationship understanding that both our economies are so intertwined everything from energy to hydro-electricity to jobs to employment to climate — you name it," he said. "Building that understanding first and then as we get into the details, more policy discussions, that door has been opened."

Easter said he was left feeling optimistic after one particular meeting with the chair of the U.S. senate banking committee.

"The discussion with him leads me to believe we can make progress on enhancing our trading relationship and bringing both economies forward together rather than being at loggerheads."

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