Economic issues likely to top agenda at Biden-Trudeau meeting on Tuesday

Pablo Tucker
February 26, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday that he will hold the first bilateral meeting with newest President of the United States of America, Joe Biden and their cabinets this coming Tuesday, February 23.

The agenda for the meeting is expected to advance shared priorities, and working together to end the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But with both leaders stressing caution to their citizens, Biden and Trudeau are foregoing the typical protocol and holding their talks by video conference. "That's why you were my first call as president, my first bilateral meeting". White House officials said that they are still trying to offer a touch of stagecraft for the meeting.

But there may be more fights in the future, provided the serious about meeting its climate-change goals, said Bill Reilly, who led the Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1993 under former president George Bush.

The leaders were joined during their virtual bilateral meeting today by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau, as well as Vice President Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Canada, in comparison, has administered more than 1.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Biden told Trudeau that he looked forward to meeting in person as soon as they get the pandemic under control.

"They will discuss issues of mutual interest, from COVID-19 to climate change and the economic ties that bind our countries, as well as the deep people-to-people bonds we share".

It was unclear whether Trudeau would again raise with the Democratic president the idea of allowing Canada, which is struggling to vaccinate its population, to buy vaccines from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's manufacturing facility in MI. But Biden for now remains focused on first inoculating the US population, according to the senior administration official.

There have been flashpoints since Biden took office. It's created to encourage the federal government to spend more of the roughly $600 billion earmarked for procurement to boost USA factories and hiring. The U.S. move could hurt Canada, given how tightly the two nations' economies are integrated.

"We can no longer delay or do the bare minimum to address climate change", Biden said, only hours after Washington formally returned to the Paris Accord.

Kovrig and Spavor were detained in China on December 10, 2018-nine days after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested by Canadian officials at the request of the United States while she was changing planes in Vancouver. She denies the allegations. Biden will try to move beyond Keystone quickly as Washington seeks coordination on reopening borders, trade policy, and relations with China-Ottawa still holds Huawei's Meng Wanzhou under a USA extradition request while China has detained two Canadians for two years.

The U.S. -Canada relationship was deeply strained during the Trump administration, with tensions spiking over trade and spilling over into personal insults.

Biden also used the call last month to explain his decision to halt building of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Other reports by iNewsToday