(Washington) If Joe Biden’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project is supposed to spell the end of Canada-U.S. Relations, the new president’s call list seems to indicate otherwise.
The first phone call from 46e president with a foreign leader will be held on Friday and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be on the other end of the line.
“I expect them to discuss the important relationship with Canada, as well as its decision on the Keystone pipeline that we announced earlier today,” the press secretary said on Wednesday. White House, Jen Psaki.
“His first calls will be with partners and allies; he believes it is important to rebuild these relationships and respond to the challenges and threats we face around the world. ”
Among the pile of executive orders Mr. Biden signed on his first day in the White House was one that overturned former President Donald Trump’s approval of the $ 8 billion cross-border pipeline expansion.
The project, first proposed in 2008, has rebounded in the White House over the years: it was blocked throughout Barack Obama’s two terms before being canceled outright in 2015, then resurrected twice. by Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trudeau, who was careful to point out that Mr. Biden’s campaign had already promised to block the expansion, did so again on Wednesday in a statement that was more festive than critical.
“While we welcome the president’s commitment to tackle climate change, we are disappointed, but recognize the president’s decision to keep his campaign promise on Keystone XL,” the statement said.
Trudeau praised Biden’s other initiatives, including the return to the Paris Agreement, a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and the lifting of the travel ban in majority Muslim countries.
In truth, no one in the Liberal government has suggested that the decision could hamper negotiations on other key Canada-US priorities, such as obtaining exemptions from the “Buy American” provisions promised by Mr. Biden.
It took Canada nearly a year to negotiate waivers of similar rules in 2010, when Barack Obama’s administration was preparing to spend more than $ 800 billion to recover from the Great Recession.
Mr. Biden’s plan, to ensure that Americans are the primary beneficiaries of the government’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, will also include a “Buy American” office operating directly from the White House.
It will also include executive orders to enforce, expand and further tighten the provisions, a strategy to make US products more competitive, and expand the list of “critical materials” that must be made in the United States.
The new administration will also inherit a Mr. Trump-fueled feud between US and Canadian dairy farmers, with all the hallmarks of the softwood lumber dispute.