GZERO Exclusive: Trudeau Defends Free Trade, Immigration and His Credibility Amidst Scandals

As his reelection campaign reels in the wake of recently surfaced blackface and brownface images, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided an exclusive response to GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, host of the weekly foreign affairs program GZERO World.

In an email exchange transcribed below, PM Trudeau addressed the credibility gap the pictures and video from his past have created.

Ian Bremmer: How seriously can anyone take your passionate speeches on respect for diversity after seeing these images?

PM Justin Trudeau: Actions speak louder than words. I know that my actions in the past have been hurtful to people, and for that I'm deeply sorry. Our government has acted to fight discrimination and racism consistently over our first term, and if we earn the right to govern Canada again, we'll move forward to fight racism and discrimination in our next term.

Ian Bremmer: Can you remain credible on multiculturalism in Canada in light of this?

PM Justin Trudeau: That's for Canadians to judge. I will be spending the next few weeks working hard to earn their trust.

The exchange came following a new and wide-ranging interview Bremmer conducted in Canada's capital, Ottawa. As Canada approaches election day on October 21, the race is extremely close. His opponent, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, has capitalized on scandals and the diminishing popularity of some of Trudeau's signature policies—on immigration, trade, and the economy.

The complete, exclusive interview is featured on the next episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, which airs nationwide on public television beginning this Friday, September 27. Their conversation is also the basis of the latest Time magazine international cover story, written by Ian Bremmer, about Trudeau's battle to defend his globalist agenda as populism rises abroad.

As poll numbers suggest Canadians are increasingly disenchanted with Trudeau's approach to the global refugee crisis, the Canadian leader stood firm in his assertion that a more diverse population will make his nation stronger. Trudeau also delivered pointed criticism of the current economic policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, calling them unsustainable.

"Inequality continues to grow everywhere around the world," he said. "But it's growing less in Canada than it is in the U.S., and that is because we made a decision to say, 'trickle down doesn't work.'"

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer airs nationwide on public television Fridays beginning at 11 a.m. ET. Check local listings. The interview will also be published in full on gzeromedia.com on Monday, September 30, at 10 a.m. ET.

Building on its previous commitment, Walmart is investing an additional $350 billion in products made, grown and assembled in America - supporting more than 750,000 new jobs by 2030. This pledge will aim to avoid more than 100M metric tons of CO2 emissions, advance the growth of U.S. based suppliers, and provide opportunities for more than 9,000 entrepreneurs to become Walmart suppliers and sellers through Walmart's annual Open Call.

China's GDP grew a lower-than-expected 4.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, a whopping three percentage points less than in the previous period. It's a big deal for the world's second-largest economy, the only major one that expanded throughout the pandemic — and now at risk of missing its growth target of 6 percent for the entire year.

Normally, such a drastic slowdown would have put the ruling Communist Party in a tizzy. But this time, Xi Jinping knows this is the price he must pay for his big plans to curb rising inequality and boost the middle class at the expense of the CCP's traditional economic mantra: high growth above all else.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Read Ian Bremmer's wide-ranging essay in Foreign Affairs that puts in perspective both the challenge, and the opportunity, that comes from the unprecedented power of Big Tech.

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here on the road, something we haven't done very much recently, but will increasingly as we try to move through COVID. And I want to talk to you about a new article that I just put out in Foreign Affairs that I'm calling "The Technopolar Moment." Not unipolar, not bipolar, not multipolar, technopolar. What the hell does technopolar mean?

It means that increasingly big technology companies are themselves geopolitical actors. So to understand the future of the world, you can't just look at the United States, Europe and China. You need to look at the big tech companies, too.

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China gets away with a lot these days in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and elsewhere. That's because over the past decade, its economy has experienced explosive growth, making it an indispensable trading partner for almost every country in the world. At the same time, China has been expanding its share of the global economy, and is now set to overtake the US as the world's biggest economic powerhouse in the near term. We take a look at China's annual growth rate and share of the global economy based on GDP over the past decade.

The European Union is, for better or worse, the most ambitious experiment in human history in institutionalized multinational cooperation. Its success depends on the willingness of its members to abide by its rules.

In recent years, the populist-nationalist governments of former Communist bloc members Hungary and Poland have flouted some of those rules in order to boost their own popularity with citizens suspicious of the EU's liberal values on issues like immigration and minority rights. In response, the EU has scolded these "illiberal" governments and threatened forceful action – so far without much effect.

The fight between EU institutions and Poland and Hungary has escalated.

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Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

What is the legacy of Colin Powell?

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell tragically died of complications of COVID-19. He was the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the first Black National Security Advisor and the first Black Secretary of State. And he leaves a legacy of a long career, dedicated almost entirely to public service.

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Can this guy defeat Viktor Orban? Hungary's opposition movement of odd bedfellows has finally settled on the person they think has the best chance of defeating PM Viktor Orbán at the ballot box: Péter Márki-Zay, a politically conservative small-town mayor from southeastern Hungary, who beat out left-leaning European Parliament member Klara Dobrev in a weekend poll. Márki-Zay has a lot going for him: as a devout Catholic and father of seven it will be hard for the ultraconservative Orbán to paint him as a progressive threat, even as Márki-Zay reaches out to reassure left-leaning groups that he will protect LGBTQ rights. What's more, Márki-Zay has little political baggage: until recently he was a marketing executive. But can the relatively inexperienced Márki-Zay keep the various opposition factions happy? The stakes couldn't be higher: since taking power more than a decade ago, Orbán has deliberately made Hungary into an "illiberal" state, cracking down on the press, undermining the rule of law, and clashing with the EU. Bonus: if Márki-Zay stays in the news, you get to say "Hódmezővásárhely" the name of the city he currently runs.

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5,600: Myanmar's military junta will release from prison 5,600 people who were jailed for protesting against last February's coup. The gesture, the biggest act of amnesty since the junta took power, comes just days after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which rarely interferes in members' internal affairs, said it would exclude the head of Myanmar's military from an upcoming regional meeting.

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Colin Powell's legacy

US Politics

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