Dwight Ball invites Trump to Come From Away to talk 'rational' way of thinking

N.L. premier says tickets offered at Trump's leisure and are 'hopefully tariff free.'

Ivanka Trump and Justin Trudeau attended the musical last year

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball has invited U.S. President Donald Trump to see Come From Away with him, while discussing trade relationships. (CBC/The Associated Press)

Amid Canada-U.S. tensions over tariffs, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball is hoping Come From Away could help inspire conversation with President Donald Trump.

All I'm asking for here is, let's be rational in our way of thinking.- Premier Dwight Ball

Ball penned a letter to Trump on June 12, extending the invitation with a bit of history of the province's relationship with its neighbours to the south, with reciprocity treaties dating back to the 1800s.

"We [Canada] have the largest trading partnership in the world and we got to that point simply because we trust each other, and we are a reliable business partner," Ball said.

"All I'm asking for here is, let's be rational in our way of thinking."

Between N.L. and the U.S. is a long history of co-operation that goes back generations, Ball said, including American military bases here.

Come From Away is symbolic of that historical relationship, and how people in this province feel about Americans.

Premier Dwight Ball says the invitation to U.S. President Donald Trump remains open. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

The musical, which won a Tony Award in 2017 for best direction and received a total of seven nominations, tells the story of the people in Gander and surrounding area who helped thousands of stranded passengers during 9/11.

"It was just a reminder to refresh our way of thinking," Ball said.

"Just to take us back to a point in time and to build on where we are today and to have a rational decision and discussion about how important this relationship really is."

Unfair tariffs hurt Canada and U.S.

He added there have been other industry developments recently that have had negative effects on both Canadians and Americans.

Ball points to newsprint, where the local industry wasn't given a chance to have input when the U.S. "unfairly" put tariffs in place without consultation.

Come From Away tells the story of thousands of American passengers stranded in Gander, N.L., during 9/11.

"Added to that we've now seen steel, we've seen aluminum, we've seen threats on other industries," he said.

"For me when I heard last week that I would be part or a premier of a province that would be considered a security threat to the U.S., I felt it was time that we reach out."

Ivanka Trump greets patrons, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, left, looks on before the start of Come From Away on Broadway on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Trump's daughter Ivanka attended Come From Away in March last year, alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Before the showing Trudeau took to the stage to talk about the importance of the friendship between the U.S. and Canada.

The tickets are offered at Trump's leisure, Ball tweeted, and are "hopefully tariff free."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Mark Quinn


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