Since arriving in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Premier Rachel Notley has met with governors, senators, congressmen and think tanks. Before returning to Canada on Wednesday, she is hoping to meet with members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
“We do anticipate meeting with people in the Trump administration,” said Notley. “I’m not going to get into specific names until those meetings are finally confirmed.”
Notley’s contingent has already met with one group which has been described as having “unfettered access” to the White House. The positions of the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation have echoed many of the Trump administration’s promises, including the repeal of Obamacare and tightening of immigration.
“You have to be able to build relationships and you have to be able to engage in dialogue with people who, in some cases, you don’t agree on everything. But if you don’t engage in dialogue, you can’t put forward those informative pieces of information that actually serve everybody’s interest together,” the premier said.
Notley said the Heritage Foundation has a number of members who are free trade proponents, and talking with them about Alberta’s importance to the American economy was an important conversation to have.
“You don’t agree on everything, but it’s also helpful to get an understanding of the perspective from which they are coming, and their view on what is likely to happen in the weeks and months to come.”
Notley says she has received a very positive response to the meetings she’s had, and an understanding from her American counterparts of the trade ties between the two countries.
“I’ve seen widespread appreciation of just how much is at risk if those ties are threatened by protectionism,” said Notley.
The trip cost for Notley, three political staffers, one public servant and security detail is approximately $42,000.
With files from Global News