Biden-Trudeau’s first meeting in February
Staff Reporter: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and the President of United States Joe Biden are set to meet in February as part of a renewed deep and lasting relationship between the United States and Canada. US President Joe Biden had a phone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday. A separate statement from the White House and the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office said: This is Biden’s first phone call with a foreign minister since taking the oath. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The two leaders will meet directly next month. The meeting will be part of a renewed deep and lasting relationship between Canada and the United States.
It said Biden and Trudeau agreed to speak again in a month and did not mention plans for a meeting.Trudeau, who has been keen to embrace the new president and turn the page on the often tumultuous Donald Trump years, was the first foreign leader to speak with Biden since Wednesday’s inauguration.
“They discussed collaboration on vaccines and acknowledged that the two countries’ efforts are strengthened by existing exchanges of medical personnel and the flow of critical medical supplies,” according to a Canadian readout of the call.
The two also agreed to expand cooperation on continental defence and in the Arctic, and said their respective top defence and foreign affairs would meet at the earliest opportunity.
Trudeau earlier on Friday hailed Biden’s arrival as a “new era” for bilateral ties but the relationship has begun with an early disagreement after Biden scrapped the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the United States on his first day in office on Wednesday.
The White House statement said Biden acknowledged “Trudeau’s disappointment regarding the decision to rescind the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and reaffirmed his commitment to maintain an active bilateral dialogue and to further deepen cooperation with Canada”.
Pipeline builder TC Energy Corp said it would eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs in coming weeks due to the cancellation.
“The prime minister raised Canada’s disappointment with the United States’ decision on the Keystone XL pipeline,” according to Canada’s readout, which noted that Trudeau also brought up “the importance of the softwood lumber industry, and urged the removal of duties”.
The long-running dispute saw the Trump administration impose tariffs against what it saw as unfair subsidies for Canadian exporters of softwood lumber, which is used in home construction.