Biden Welcomes Canada's Trudeau (Virtually) To White House For 1st Meeting

By Canadian Press	
	 		Climate China Buy American to dominate Biden bilateral with prime minister Tuesday

"And we are not looking backward", Biden said on Friday in a video message to attendees at the Munich Security Conference, which was held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Xinhua reported.

Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat who was posted in the USA, said the map will set out goals in areas of mutual interest, including the COVID-19 response, climate change, economic recovery, and defence.

However, it's not clear if this plan will include some of Canada's priorities, such as procuring more COVID-19 vaccine doses made in the US, freeing Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig from China, or securing an exemption to Biden's Buy American policy.

Trudeau thanked Biden, who has put the United States back into the Paris climate accord on reducing global carbon emissions, for his policies on global warming.

Tuesday's virtual conversation between the two leaders will be Biden's first bilateral meeting as president.

Seated at the table with Biden were Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

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. Today's meeting with President Biden further strengthens our two countries' strong and historic ties.

"We also double-downed on our efforts to tackle climate change, It was really, really encouraging".

During her opening statement Freeland restated her congratulations to her counterpart Harris for her historic win as the first female vice-president.

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There was no direct mention of Canada's hope for an exemption to Buy American, Biden's protectionist guardrails for infrastructure and procurement projects, nor of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The White House emphasized how U.S.

"We're launching a high-level, climate-ambition ministerial and to align our policies and our goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050", Biden said.

Canada has been squeezed by vaccine production problems in Europe, prompting calls for US help - especially since a key Pfizer manufacturing facility in MI is just two hours from the border.

Asked if Canada may get a waiver from Biden's "Buy American" order, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that "no changes are anticipated".

One sticking point that is likely to come up: Biden's decision to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a project fiercely opposed by environmentalists but backed by Ottawa.

"The President will highlight the strong and deep partnership between the United States and Canada as neighbours, friends and NATO Allies", she said.

"Strengthening the relationship is important for Canada at the best of times, but even more critical now as a means to support a business-led recovery on both sides of the border", Agnew said.

The two leaders intend to resurrect the North American Leaders' Summit - a trilateral meeting of Canada, the US and Mexico, more commonly known as the "Three Amigos" summit, which hasn't been convened since 2016.

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