By Caribbean News Global
USA/CANADA/MEXICO – Sticking with tradition, US president Joe Biden made his first phone call to Canada, last Friday. Biden also spoke with Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
This signals swift action to normalize relations with Canada and Mexico facing four crises — COVID-19, economic recovery, climate change, and racial inequity; meantime, recognizing the challenges, and the need for expanding multilateral cooperation. Canada and the US have also agreed to meet next month to advance the important work of renewing the deep and enduring friendship between the two countries.
On January 22, prime minister Justin Trudeau spoke with the Joe Biden, and according to the prime minister’s office (PMO) read-out: “Both leaders recognized the fundamental priority is to end the global COVID-19 pandemic. They discussed collaboration on vaccines and acknowledged that the two countries’ efforts are strengthened by existing exchanges of medical personnel and the flow of critical medical supplies. The two leaders discussed working closely together to defeat COVID-19 by responding to new variants and following expert advice.”
Discussions also lead to “their shared vision for sustainable economic recovery, creating jobs, and growing the middle class. To that end, they discussed strengthening Canada-US supply chain security and resilience. Reflecting on the extraordinary and deeply interconnected economic relationship between the two countries, and with a view to promoting and protecting it, the prime minister and US president agreed to consult closely to avoid measures that may constrain bilateral trade, supply chains, and economic growth.”
However, Canada registered its disappointment with the United States’ decision on the Keystone XL pipeline; raised the importance of the softwood lumber industry, and urged the removal of duties. “These underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers,” the PMO said.
On climate change, the leaders reiterated the urgent need for ambitious action and reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement working together on net-zero emissions, zero-emissions vehicles, cross-border clean electricity transmission, and the Arctic
Hours after being sworn in as the 46th president Biden signed an executive order at the White House to reverse the previous administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 accord, which seeks to limit global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Canada and the US will continue their shared commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, and working in partnership with Indigenous peoples. Staying true North, Canada – US agreed to expand cooperation on continental defence and in the Arctic, including the need to modernize NORAD, and discussed options for joint meetings of foreign affairs, national defence, ministers and secretaries of state and defense at the earliest opportunity.
Looking forward to expanding cooperation south of the US border, and to reiterate the commitment to multilateral institutions and alliances, president Biden spoke with Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
A statement from the White House reads:
“President Biden spoke with Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador [yesterday] to review bilateral cooperation on a range of bilateral and regional issues, particularly regional migration. The president outlined his plan to reduce migration by addressing its root causes, increasing resettlement capacity and lawful alternative immigration pathways, improving processing at the border to adjudicate requests for asylum, and reversing the previous administration’s draconian immigration policies.
“The two leaders agreed to work closely to stem the flow of irregular migration to Mexico and the United States, as well as to promote development in the Northern Triangle of Central America. They also recognized the importance of coordination to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”