Pandemic, confronting climate change, economic recovery, defending democratic values ​​and military alliances – these are the main topics at Tuesday’s virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The hypothetical meeting was Biden’s first bilateral meeting with the leader of another country.

“The American leadership has been sorely missed in recent years,” Trudeau said before the start of the closed portion of the talks, which included not only the Canadian prime minister and the US president, but also US Vice President Kamala Harris and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and others. Ministers.

“The United States does not have a friend who is closer than Canada. That is why I contacted you first after assuming the position, and I am having the first bilateral meeting with you, and of course the vice president lived in Montreal for a while while she was in high school,” Biden said, confirming that communication between the two countries is open to Shutter. “

During their final statements, Biden and Trudeau highlighted areas of cooperation that were of particular interest to both countries. As Trudeau said, the ambitious partner’s roadmap will include fighting the pandemic, measures to build a “fairer” economy, climate action, and countering extremism.

The United States and Canada will cooperate on climate change, and as Biden emphasized, it is about joint actions for both countries in order to more effectively involve other countries in the necessary actions.

Biden also indicated that the pandemic is about ending it as soon as possible, but also about strengthening the World Health Organization and preparing for potential future crises. The US President stressed that the United States and Canada will strive to rebuild the economy in a way that benefits everyone, not just the rich. It is supposed to be an economy with significant support for small and medium-sized enterprises, aid for women and ethnic minorities. Biden also spoke of defense alliances, the need to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as the transparency of international institutions’ activities and cooperation between the United States and Canada in the Arctic.

Although the two Canadians imprisoned in China were not mentioned in the US “road map” issued before the talks, Biden mentioned Michael Covrig and Michael Spavor by the names, indicating that the United States would defend them. Two Canadians were arrested in China in December 2018, shortly after being held in Canada at the request of US Vice President Huawei Ming Wanzhou. Their release is one of the most difficult challenges facing Canadian diplomacy. Biden warned China that “human life is not a bargain.”

Commenting on CTV, the former US ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, confirmed that Biden Trudeau’s first bilateral meeting was a “great success” and a “great start.”

As the Ottawa government stated in the statement, Canada buys more goods from the United States than China, Japan and the United Kingdom together, and at the same time Canada is the largest trading partner of most of the U.S. states. Canadian companies operating in the United States employ 725,000 American workers. Canada is also the largest exporter of “all forms of energy” to the United States – it exports oil and electricity. Bilateral cooperation between the two countries includes both cooperation within the North American Air and Space Defense Command (NORAD) since 1957 and numerous environmental agreements since 1909, at the federal level and between provinces and states.

From Toronto Anna Lash