14 Feb 2017

Trump and Trudeau meet at White House

12:40 pm on 14 February 2017

US President Donald Trump is meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the White House.

The visit may come as a welcome relief for Mr Trump who will be trying to divert attention from a growing firestorm over national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau meet in the Oval Office at the White House.

Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau meet in the Oval Office at the White House. Photo: AFP

Mr Trudeau, a Liberal, will try to foster economic links and avoid tensions over issues such as immigration.

US officials say the two leaders will also meet with a group of women CEOs and Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, to discuss women in the workforce.

Mr Trudeau, 45, said he expected to "find a lot of common ground" with his 70-year-old counterpart.

His first responsibility was to "highlight Canadian values and principles and the things that keep our country strong", he said.

"The second responsibility that I have, which we will very much be engaged in, is creating jobs and opportunity for Canadian citizens through the continued close integration on both sides of the border."

The US president's pledge to renegotiate free trade deal Nafta has reportedly unnerved Canadian officials - 75 percent of the country's exports go to the US.

The meeting comes as Mr Trump evaluates the situation surrounding his national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Mr Flynn reportedly discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in the weeks before Mr Trump's inauguration.

He denied talking about this issue but later said he could not be certain.

Any discussion of sanctions could have violated laws against private citizens engaging in foreign policy.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Mr Flynn and Mr Kislyak did not discuss lifting sanctions.