Trudeau, EU leaders express faith in America and call for return to multilateralism

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the European Union's two top political leaders expressed faith in the American people today ahead of a presidential election whose outcome has major implications for global relations.

Trudeau, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, the European Union Council president all refrained -- as is customary -- from directly commenting on whether they'd like to see current U.S. President Donald Trump remain in office or his challenger, Democrat Joe Biden, take over.

But it was clear the trio of leaders are at minimum eager for a reset of strained relations at a time that all three said demands a multilateral approach on climate change, digital interference and efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today's three-way video conference was the first formal discussion they have been able to hold since the changing of the guard of Europe's top political leadership late last year.

That gathering was marked by gushing displays of Canada-EU political fealty that saw Trudeau and Michel's predecessor Donald Tusk position themselves as defenders of a world order that has been increasingly under attack from Trump.

Today's meeting aimed for a similar signal, as the three leaders championed the benefits of free trade, the importance of standing up for human rights, and protecting democracy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020.