POLITICS
06/13/2018 11:56 EDT | Updated 06/13/2018 12:16 EDT

Dwight Ball Offers Donald Trump Tickets To 'Come From Away' After Tweet Tirade

The N.L. premier hopes a Broadway show with soothe "extremely troubling" tariff threats.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media following a meeting during the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Que. on June 9, 2018.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media following a meeting during the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Que. on June 9, 2018.

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador's premier has invited Donald Trump to the hit Broadway musical "Come from Away,'' saying he hopes "to discuss the virtues of a positive relationship'' with the U.S. president.

Dwight Ball's letter to Trump, dated Tuesday, evokes the province's historic relationship with the United States, on both trade and military bases.

"I just wanted to refresh and take the president back in time, and just remind his administration on how important this reliable friendship and this business relationship is,'' Ball said in an interview Wednesday.

"It's just not a transaction, this is about longstanding relationships with our world's largest trading partner.''

Watch: White House aide sorry for 'special place in hell' remark

Ball tweeted a copy of the letter Wednesday morning. It notes the tickets would be available at Trump's "leisure'' and "hopefully are tariff-free.''

The invitation is at the president's leisure, at whichever city's version of the musical he prefers.

"Please advise of your acceptance of this invitation and I will forward you tickets,'' he writes.

Ball told The Canadian Press he took issue with the president's language treating Canada as a security risk. He sees "Come from Away'' as an example of the longstanding friendship between Canada and the U.S., in more than just trade.

Ball calls Trump trade threats 'extremely troubling'

The musical tells the true story of how Gander, N.L., welcomed more than 7,000 stranded airline passengers after 9/11.

"The relationships that were formed at that time still last to this day, and it's really just symbolic of the relationship that we've had for many, many years,'' said Ball.

His letter describes Trump's recent policies on tariffs as "extremely troubling,'' and says he hoped to discuss "a positive and mutually beneficial trade relationship.''

After this month's G7 summit in Quebec, Trump called Justin Trudeau "weak and dishonest.'' The president was apparently angered over the prime minister's comments at a press conference objecting to American tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Ball said his province has been affected by new U.S. tariffs, but the companies haven't had a chance to share their stories. He was among eight Canadian premiers who visited Washington in June 2017 to discuss NAFTA negotiations.

Ball's letter says Newfoundland and Labrador believes in the idea that "a rising tide lifts all boats.''

Arts impresario David Mirvish first staged "Come from Away'' in Toronto from December 2016 to January 2017 before it headed to Broadway.

Bruce Glikas via Getty Images
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau pose backstage with the cast and crew of the hit musical "Come from Away" on Broadway at The Schoenfeld Theatre on March 15, 2017 in New York City.

Mirvish has said the musical's success has "befuddled all expectations'' both in Toronto and on Broadway, where its feel-good charm managed to win the hearts of jaded New York theatre-goers as well as a Tony Award for best direction.

Its soundtrack has been nominated for a Grammy, and Canadian creators Irene Sankoff and David Hein are hard at work on a script for a film adaptation.

Ball said Wednesday he has not yet received a response, but he hopes Trump takes up his offer.

"I would love to be able to sit down and watch 'Come From Away','' said Ball.

— With Michael Tutton in Halifax

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