When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was backed into a corner by one of his country’s top businessmen in Washington on Tuesday, it wasn’t the piece of diplomacy a global leader usually wants to see.
Apple’s Peter Munk, the chairman of Ontario’s Suncor, had good reason to be incensed. The leaders of Canada’s two largest cellphone companies, Telus and BCE, clashed with Mr Trudeau over his perception that Canadians were not consumers and not the type of consumers that companies would like to be able to attract and retain.
The confrontation between the prime minister and the two CEOs, added to a diplomatic budget that has already reached Canadian levels of about $500m over the past five years, gave Mr Trudeau his worst performance since he started his role, beating even that of Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, according to Canadian media reports.
And while Mr Trudeau mollified the two executives after they left the White House for Canada, it won’t do much to ease their concerns about his positive impact on their businesses, which is what they are primarily worried about, according to the Globe and Mail.