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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

Feb 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Canada's parliament declares China's persecution of Uyghurs "genocide"

Uyghur activists protest China's treatment of the Uyghurs in Vancouver, British Columbia in January 2020. Photo: Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Canada's House of Commons on Monday voted 266-0 to recognize China's documented campaign of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang as a "genocide."

Why it matters: The vote will likely put pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get tougher on China. Trudeau and most members of his Cabinet abstained from Monday's vote.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."