Biden to host first virtual meeting with PM Trudeau

Biden to host first virtual meeting with PM Trudeau to unveil US-Canada partnership roadmap

U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Credit: Reuters File Photo

US President Joe Biden will host his first-ever virtual bilateral summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday during which they will jointly unveil a new initiative, a roadmap for partnership between the two neighbours.

The US and Canada are close allies, sharing the world’s longest land border and trading hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods and services annually.

“Today President Biden will jointly unveil a new initiative with our Canadian partners and friends: The US-Canada Partnership Roadmap,” the White House said on Monday.

According to the White House, the roadmap is a blueprint for the whole-of-government relationship, based on their shared values and commitment to work in partnership on areas of mutual concern, such as the recovery from COVID-19 and global health security, efforts to combat climate change and shared priorities in defence and security.

“Through the Roadmap, we will also advance our shared vision of prosperity, diversity, equity, and justice for all our citizens,” the White House said ahead of the summit.

During the meeting, Biden will outline the Roadmap, which will prioritise combating COVID-19, accelerating climate ambitions, advancing diversity and inclusion, bolstering security and defence and building global alliances.

Biden and Trudeau will affirm their shared commitment to addressing global challenges through the Roadmap through multilateral institutions, including the United Nations, G7 and G20, the WTO, NATO and the Five Eyes community.

Finally, the leaders will agree to work towards reviving the North American Leaders’ Summit as a recommitment of solidarity among the United States, Canada and Mexico, the White House said.

According to a senior administration official, the two leaders are trying to recreate the substance, depth and breadth of the bilateral relationship in virtual space.

The virtual meeting would include a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders, followed by an expanded one with Cabinet members and senior officials from the two sides joining them.

“The biggest deliverable from the meeting is going to be essentially not a joint statement that's going to reside on a website, but rather a roadmap to reinvigorate US-Canada collaboration. It is essentially tasking our Cabinet and ministers on everything from COVID-19, to the economy and economic cooperation to an ambitious partnership on climate, cooperation with Canada to build global alliances…,” said the official.

US-Canada relations suffered under Donald Trump, as the former president withdrew the country from several international accords, forced renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement and slapped tariffs on Canadian aluminium and steel.

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