Biden, Trudeau vow to counter Chinese clout, tackle climate change
WASHINGTON/OTTAWA (US/CANADA) – During a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, President Joe Biden sought to turn the page on the Donald Trump era. They stressed the countries’ deep ties and vowed to cooperate to counteract Chinese clout and address climate change.
“The United States has no closer friend, no closer friend than Canada,” Biden during the discussion with Trudeau and other key aides. “That’s why you were my first call as president (and) my first bilateral meeting,” he said.
After two hours of discussions, both leaders said they planned to work closely together to tackle the pandemic and combat climate change in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Canadian PM also thanked Biden for reiterating US support for the release of two Canadians detained by China. “Human beings are not bartering chips,” Biden said. “We’re going to work together until we get their safe return.”
He also hailed the Biden administration, stressing in particular the renewed attention of Washington to climate change in sharp contrast to the policy of Trump.
“Thank you, again, for stepping up in such a big way on tackling climate change. US leadership has been sorely missed over the past years,” Trudeau said.
Biden sat at a long table in a meeting room in the White House along with Vice President Kamala Harris and other officials wearing dark masks near a large video screen which beamed Trudeau’s image from Ottawa.
According to a Canadian government source, there is no progress regarding the possibility of Canada accessing coronavirus vaccines developed in the US. At present, the nation is receiving its doses from plants in Europe.
“We’re focused on ourselves, the United States is focused on itself. They feel they have a supply shortage, so there is no news on that front,” said the source.