President Joe Biden will participate in a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, marking his first bilateral meeting with a foreign leader since being sworn in as president.
The bilateral meeting, set for Tuesday, seeks to elevate cooperation between the United States and Canada, and review shared concerns such as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) pandemic, climate change, and the economy.
During the meeting, White House officials will also meet with their Canadian counterparts to discuss bilateral and global issues.
“The President will highlight the strong and deep partnership between the United States and Canada as neighbors, friends, and NATO Allies,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
The meeting also comes at a time when the alliance between the two nations is strained over Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which has Canada’s backing. The move was considered a snub to one of America’s closest allies and has drawn ire from Canadian officials who have asked Biden to reconsider.
“It’s very frustrating that one of the first acts of a new president was I think, to disrespect one of America’s closest friends and allies,” Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta, Canada, previously told Fox News. Alberta is Canada’s biggest oil-producing province.
Trudeau’s office confirmed the meeting in a statement, sharing that the meeting will also include discussions about growing the middle class and creating jobs, maintaining strong supply chains, the two nation’s bilateral energy relationship, defence and security, and promoting diversity and inclusion.
“Canada and the United States share one of the strongest and deepest friendships between any two countries in the world. It is built on common values, strong ties between our people, and a shared geography. I look forward to my meeting with President Biden, where we will work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic and support people in both our countries,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Canada and the United States have strong trading relationships, with Canada being America’s top trading partner and largest customer.
Since taking office, Biden has been making calls to foreign leaders. Earlier this week, Biden spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, marking the first time the two leaders spoke since the start of his presidency.
The two leaders also discussed security issues posed by Iran, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the United States’s continued support for peace agreements to normalize relations between Israel and Arab nations, in what is commonly referred to as the Abraham Accords. This agreement, which was brokered by former President Donald Trump, serves to establish new cooperation and normalization between the United States, Israel, and Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sudan, and Morocco.