The Canadian Prime Minister was the first foreign leader to meet with the new US president in an appeal highlighting the “enduring” ties between two neighbors.
Canada’s Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden plan to meet in person next month, the prime minister’s office said, following a call between the two leaders in which they agreed to join forces to fight the coronavirus in North America.
“The two leaders have agreed to meet next month to advance the important work of renewing the deep and lasting friendship between Canada and the United States,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement Friday.
In a separate statement, the White House said the two leaders underlined “the strategic importance of the relationship between the United States and Canada” and discussed cooperation on a broad program including the fight against the pandemic of COVID-19 and climate change.
He said Biden and Trudeau had agreed to speak again in a month and had not mentioned any plans to meet.
Trudeau, who was keen to embrace the new president and turn the page on Donald Trump’s often tumultuous years, was the first foreign leader to speak to Biden since Wednesday’s inauguration.
“They discussed the collaboration on vaccines and recognized that the efforts of the two countries are being bolstered by the existing exchanges of medical personnel and the flow of essential medical supplies,” according to a Canadian reading of the appeal.
The two also agreed to expand cooperation in continental defense and in the Arctic, and said their senior defense and foreign officials will meet at the earliest opportunity.
Trudeau hailed Biden’s arrival earlier on Friday as a “new era” for bilateral relations, but the relationship began with an early disagreement after Biden scrapped Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline to the United States during on his first day on Wednesday.
The White House statement said Biden acknowledged “Trudeau’s disappointment with the decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit and reaffirmed his commitment to maintain an active bilateral dialogue and further deepen cooperation with Canada.”
Pipeline builder TC Energy Corp has said it will cut more than 1,000 construction jobs in the coming weeks due to the cancellation.
“The Prime Minister raised Canada’s disappointment with the US decision on the Keystone XL pipeline,” according to the Canada reading, which noted that Trudeau also raised “the importance of the lumber industry. ‘work and urged the removal of rights.
The long-running dispute has seen the Trump administration impose tariffs on what it sees as unfair subsidies for Canadian exporters of softwood lumber, which is used in the construction of homes.