OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The COVID-19 pandemic was at the forefront of the first bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden, with the two leaders agreeing to work closely together to reset ties between the nations.
Biden’s first meeting with Trudeau went about forty-five minutes into overtime as the two leaders covered a lot of ground in the virtual summit. They have laid out a plan for co-operation on a variety of issues they say will revitalize the relationship between the two countries following Donald Trump’s presidency.
Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau discusses the topics they’ll cover in the meeting & talks about differences between the Biden administration as the last one when it comes to climate change #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/emzOawXlky
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 23, 2021
Trudeau says the main goal is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“From keeping key supplies moving and supporting science and research to joint efforts through international institutions,” explains Trudeau.
This new road map of partnership extends beyond COVID-19, with Canada and the U.S. also agreeing to work together to jump start the economy and create more jobs. The two leaders also discussed tackling systemic racism and climate change as both countries try to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Another key issue brought to the table was the detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China. Biden reaffirmed his country’s call for their release saying human beings are not bartering chips.
“Canada and the United States will stand together against abuse of universal rights and democratic freedoms,” says Biden.
Although numerous issues were discussed at length, there was no talk of Canadian access to American-made vaccines or any exemption for Biden’s buy American policies.