Feb 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden and Trudeau announce partnership roadmap after first virtual meeting

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual joint press conference with Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 23

President Biden speaks during a virtual joint press conference with Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday. Photo: Pete Marovich/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a "U.S.-Canada Partnership roadmap," as the pandemic forced their meeting to go virtual on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden said he chose to have his first bilateral meeting with Trudeau because the U.S. "has no closer friend" than Canada. Trudeau made clear he was keen on strengthening relations, which had become strained under former President Trump and his "America First" policy.

"U.S. leadership has been sorely missed over the past year," Trudeau said.

The big picture: The two leaders pledged to work together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, strengthen global alliances and defense.

  • Trudeau thanked Biden for his support on the release of detained Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who were arrested in China on espionage charges.
  • Their arrests are believed to be in retaliation for Canada's detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who's accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.
  • "Human beings are not bartering chips," Biden said.
Go deeper