Justin Trudeau kicks off 3-day U.S. trip as NAFTA talks deadline looms

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OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Donald Trump’s hometown, urging thousands of newly minted American university graduates to fight a rising tide of intolerance and aggressive nationalism around the world.

Officials had billed Trudeau’s three-day trip to New York and Boston as focused on trade and the economic relationship between Canada and the U.S., with looming NAFTA deadlines as a backdrop.

But Trudeau’s message to more than 10,000 New York University grads at Yankee Stadium is all about respecting people that don’t look or think like they do, and engaging with people with whom they might not agree.

READ MORE: 4 challenges NAFTA negotiations are facing as deadline looms

He urges them to take a leadership role against the growth in aggressive nationalism and identity politics that he says are making the world a far complex place to live.

Under a sea of colourful umbrellas against relentless rain, the audience was receptive, erupting in loud roars every time Trudeau was spotted on the screen.

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Trudeau also says there are some points of view that will never be valid, including those who commit female genital mutilation and those who deny that climate change is real.

READ MORE: Trudeau, Trump talk about immediately wrapping up NAFTA deal in phone call

Later today, Trudeau will meet with several executives from major American companies including the heads of PepsiCo., and Honeywell, before speaking Thursday to the Economic Club of New York.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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