(Washington) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke by phone with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who said it was the first call with a foreign leader since taking office.
The Prime Minister’s Office said the two leaders discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada-U.S. Relations and the time spent by Mr.me Harris in Montreal when she was in high school.
According to the cabinet report, Trudeau also spoke of the “unintended consequences” of President Joe Biden’s “Buy America” policies.
Some Canadian producers and suppliers are concerned that these provisions will prevent them from bidding on contracts in the United States.
In its version of the transcript of the conversation, the White House recalled “the paramount importance of Canada as a strategic and economic partner of the United States”.
In its summary of the conversation, the Prime Minister’s Office hinted at what might be its main argument to convince Washington to exempt Canada from the rules: it is not the target of the measures.
President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion is not mentioned in the record of the appeal.
The interlocutors seem rather to have discussed their common priorities, such as “the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by means of close collaboration at the borders and in terms of access to vaccines”.
Mr. Trudeau also stressed “wanting to strengthen bilateral trade relations and Canada-US supply chains”.
The only reference to the Keystone XL pipeline could be found in the Prime Minister’s desire to “strengthen energy security in North America”.
During their conversation, Mr. Trudeau and Mr.me Harris reiterated the importance of the foundations of democracy and justice, as well as the need to “increase confidence in government.”
The American population is divided. She is still recovering from the January 6 riot, in which protesters stormed the Capitol, and the efforts of Donald Trump’s team to invalidate the presidential election results.
The issues of climate change, diversity, mental health, gun trafficking, gender-based violence and the fight against hate on social media were also discussed.
The Prime Minister also thanked Mr.me Harris for US support on the release of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been detained in China for more than two years.
“The Vice-President also expressed her solidarity with Canada regarding the arbitrary detention of two Canadian citizens by China, and she clearly stated that the United States will continue to do everything possible to ensure their release,” the White House said.
The Canadian press release also mentioned the “bilateral meeting” that will take place between MM. Trudeau and Biden. The two politicians agreed to meet during their conversation last month, but details, like the date and format – in person or online – of that meeting were not disclosed.