Biden and Trudeau bypass tension and restore ties

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The two-hour-long virtual meeting was President Biden’s first bilateral meeting. (Image Source: Joe Biden/Twitter)

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the United States and Canada would work together to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, better compete with China, tackle climate change and boost industrial supply chains.

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday spoke through a video conference and renewed the ties between the United States and Canada, which former President Donald Trump had severely upended. The two-hour-long virtual meeting was President Biden’s first bilateral meeting.

Canada is often the new US president’s first foreign stop. However, the meeting took place on a virtual mode due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.  Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan joined Biden for the meeting. 

Biden said: “The United States has no closer friend, no closer friend than Canada. That’s why you [Trudeau] were my first call as president [and] my first bilateral meeting.”  

The two leaders stated that they have a “road map” to improve cooperation on varied issues. Biden and Trudeau pledged that their countries would work together to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, better compete with China, tackle climate change, boost trade and industrial supply chains. 

Trudeau welcomed the Biden administration’s decision to concentrate on climate change. He said: “Thank you, again, for stepping up in such a big way on tackling climate change. US leadership has been sorely missed over the past years.” 

Biden said that closer cooperation between Canada and the United States will be effective to compete with China. He also expressed full US support for the release of two Canadians held by China, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. He said: “Human beings are not bartering chips. We’re going to work together until we get their safe return.”

During the Trump era, the cross-border ties between Canada and the United States were severely disrupted. Trump had often called Canada an economic predator and had criticized Trudeau by calling him  “weak”, “two-faced,” and “dishonest.” 

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