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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and LA mayor Eric Garcetti take a friendship hike

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti take a hike through Griffith Park on the morning of Saturday, February 10, 2018.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti take a hike through Griffith Park on the morning of Saturday, February 10, 2018.
Justin Trudeau / Twitter

Capping off a three-day swing through California, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toasted his country's friendship with Los Angeles by taking a Saturday morning hike with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Before walking through Griffith Park, the two men spoke with reporters and made statements in English, French and Spanish. 

Garcetti warmly welcomed Trudeau to Los Angeles and said that Canada was a major trading partner for the city.

"It's very important for us in this moment, when there is so much supposed division in the world to reinsure that there is friendship and strength," Garcetti said. "We see friendship as a strength and conflict as a weakness."

garcetti tweet

The two men, both in their 40s and dressed in shorts and athletic shirts, then set off at a brisk pace. They chatted with other hikers and posed for a selfie with one group.

Trudeau said the hike was "awesome" and "beautiful."

He came to the U.S. with an unambiguous message — that NAFTA is a success that needs to be modernized and not abandoned. The next round of talks over the trade pact is set to begin in Mexico later this month

During the presidential election, President Donald Trump called the 24-year-old agreement a job-killing "disaster." He has threatened to pull out unless the deal requires more auto production in the U.S. and shifts additional government contracts to U.S. companies.

Trudeau argued that the deal has sent benefits both ways across the border.

But he added: "President Trump and I agree about this: Too many people have been left behind, even as our economies surged."

"We need to collectively do a much better job of ensuring the benefits of trade are shared more broadly," Trudeau said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers an address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, February 9, 2018 in Simi Valley, California.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers an address at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, February 9, 2018 in Simi Valley, California.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Friday's speech was a centerpiece on his swing in which he warned Canada won't be muscled into a trade deal that is unfavorable to his country, while promoting the country as a destination for California technology firms uneasy with shifting U.S. immigration policy.

He said 9 million jobs in America are tied to trade and investment with Canada and "the truth is that both Canada and the United States are winning. And so is Mexico. And that's exactly how we should keep it."

The liberal Trudeau argued that differing political views need not stand in the way of trade agreement, alluding to the Republican president.

But an agreement, he warned, will take "a willingness to compromise on all sides."

The location of Trudeau's speech carried symbolic weight, alluding to the longstanding trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada. In 1988, Reagan and then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney signed the first free trade agreement — a precursor to NAFTA.

Reaching agreements has always required "persistence and no shortage of sunny, Reagan-esque optimism on both sides," he said.

After the speech, a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer who was part of Trudeau's motorcade crashed. He was sent to a hospital with moderate injuries, the Ventura County Fire Department said. Trudeau's vehicle was not involved.

On Saturday morning, Mayor Garcetti said that the officer is expected to recover from a broken clavicle.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (center) presides over a meeting about immigration during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton January 25, 2018.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (center) presides over a meeting about immigration during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 86th annual Winter Meeting at the Capitol Hilton January 25, 2018.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trudeau had been in San Francisco Thursday, where he picked up promises of investments and jobs during his first official visit to the city. Among them, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced the online business software company will invest another $2 billion in its Canadian operations.

On his visit to Northern California, Trudeau promoted his country's fast-track employment permit for certain workers, dubbed the "global skills strategy visa."

Trudeau also met Thursday with Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos as Bezos considers possible locations for a second headquarters. Toronto, which has created a government-sponsored innovation hub for tech companies, was the only one of several Canadian cities that made the shortlist.

Trudeau's stop in San Francisco highlighted the already strong ties between Canada and California, particularly in research, academia and technology.

Uncertainty over Trump's immigration policies has provided momentum for Trudeau's economic pitch to Silicon Valley, where many companies that rely on foreign workers have become uneasy.