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By David Ljunggren and Roberta Rampton

OTTAWA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Canada’s charismatic Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be traveling to Washington this week for talks with U.S. President Barack Obama, hoping to revitalize a frayed relationship and draw rare attention to Canadian issues.

Trudeau’s Liberals came to power in November by ousting the right-wing Conservative leader Stephen Harper, whose ties with Washington deteriorated as he hectored Obama in a failed bid to gain approval for a major Canada-U.S. pipeline.

Trudeau, who has basked in international media attention since coming to power and whose progressive politics are much more in tune with Obama’s, will attend a state dinner Thursday, becoming the first Canadian leader to do so since 1997.

“We want to strengthen our relationship with the United States at a time when it is key for our agenda of economic growth,” Foreign Minister Stephane Dion said in an interview on Monday.

Canada sends 75 percent of its exports to the United States. It is also the United States’ largest trading partner and biggest supplier of oil, but has found it hard to stand out.

“We’d sometimes like to think that Americans would pay attention to us from time to time,” Trudeau said in an interview with the CBS television show 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday.

Trudeau will press his message on Thursday, holding talks with Obama, lunching with Secretary of State John Kerry and then attending the state dinner.

Canada wants to avoid a fresh trade fight over its softwood lumber exports, while the United States will reiterate long-standing concerns about how much information Ottawa shares on terror suspects, say officials involved with the talks.

The two sides are also set to sign a declaration committing to the fight against climate change, sources said.

“Canada’s not an issue that gets a lot of attention normally,” said a senior U.S. administration official.

“(But) I’d be hard-pressed to identify a relationship that’s more important day in, day out, and that affects more Americans day in, day out.”

Trudeau has a higher profile than any Canadian leader since his father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, was in power four decades ago. The New York Times and Vogue magazine are among the U.S. outlets that have run sympathetic profiles about him.

Still, his visit may be overshadowed by the raucous race between Republican candidates vying to run for the White House. Thursday’s dinner coincides with a Republican debate in the battleground state of Florida.

(Writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Bernadette Baum)

Photo: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama deliver remarks to reporters after their bilateral meeting alongside the APEC Summit in Manila, Philippines, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Trump boards Air Force One for his return flight home from Florida on July 31, 2020

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Florida senior residents have been reliable Republican voters for decades, but it looks like their political impact could shift in the upcoming 2020 election.

As Election Day approaches, Florida is becoming a major focal point. President Donald Trump is facing more of an uphill battle with maintaining the support of senior voters due to his handling of critical issues over the last several months. Several seniors, including some who voted for Trump in 2016, have explained why he will not receive their support in the November election.

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