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Biden and Trudeau to mix thorny issues with niceties

“This visit is about taking stock of what we’ve done, where we are and what we need to prioritize for the future,” Kirby mentioned.

Once Biden touches down in Canada, the president and first girl Jill Biden will head over to the Prime Minister’s dwelling at Rideau Cottage for night drinks. Friday’s schedule is loaded with a sequence of bilateral conferences, Biden’s speech to Parliament, and a joint information convention.

Here’s a rundown of what the 2 leaders are anticipated to talk about behind closed doorways:


Both nations have lagged in modernizing the North American Aerospace Defense Command as abroad nations develop new capabilities, akin to Russia’s long-range cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons. The Chinese spy balloon and a sequence of unidentified flying objects over each air areas final month has put stress on each leaders to tackle the evolving air threats.

“Both the U.S. administration and our government do want to make sure that during this visit, we have a really deep conversation about North American security and NORAD in particular,” Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman mentioned on CBC News over the weekend.

The state of affairs additionally continues to evolve, Christopher Sands, director of the Canada Institute on the Wilson Center, mentioned in an interview. If each Sweden and Finland be a part of NATO, the Arctic turns into a “frontline between Russia Arctic and NATO Arctic,” he mentioned.

“The dynamic is looking more conflictual all the time, and Canada’s underinvestment in the Arctic is starting to pinch,” Sands mentioned.

Biden will possible reward Canada’s dedication to modernizing NORAD by its current choice to purchase 88 F-35 fighter jets to assist shield North American airspace, Sands mentioned. But David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, urged over the weekend in a TV interview that the U.S. needs to know concerning the measurement and timing of the commitments Canada has made to modernizing NORAD.

But Hillman, responding to Cohen’s feedback in an interview with POLITICO, famous the duty just isn’t Canada’s alone.

“Some of the investments that we’re making, these aren’t just things that you pluck off the shelf and implement. This is highly new and sensitive technology that is being developed and being implemented,” she mentioned. “So if the suggestion is, let’s try and go faster — that’s a message I’ve heard before and I think that’s a message we certainly want to talk about with the Americans.”

Ukraine and protection spending

Late final yr, Secretary of State Antony Blinken requested Canada, which has the second largest Ukrainian inhabitants on this planet, to lead post-conflict reconstruction in Ukraine — to start organizing with different nations and speaking to companies about cash and particular wants within the years to come. Biden will possible test in on Trudeau’s progress.

Canada’s protection spending will even be addressed, Cohen urged over the weekend. He famous that the nation has stepped up its help to Ukraine by way of navy tools, however that protection stays a prime precedence for each nations.

“It’s important for the United States. It’s important for Canada. And so I think how we fund our 21st century defense efforts, you know, in order to confront 21st century threats will be a topic of conversation,” Cohen mentioned.


Haiti has continued to be hit with one disaster after one other, from gang violence, civil and political unrest to a resurgence of cholera. Though the Biden administration has drafted a U.N. Security Council decision proposing a “non-U.N. international security assistance mission” to help the island nation, the U.S. doesn’t need to lead this effort. Many different nations have been hesitant to get entangled.

The leaders are anticipated to talk about a path ahead, Sands mentioned. For months, the White House has urged it needs Canada to take the lead in a multi-national navy intervention to convey stability to the nation. But Ottawa has avoided committing, with Trudeau noting last month that Canada’s response in Haiti is being guided by classes and “difficult experience” from previous interventions.

Canada has utilized sanctions as a approach to stem the monetary flows of Haitian elites and gangs driving violence within the nation. Trudeau has also sent naval vessels to help the Haitian National Police patrol the coast.

“The Canadians have worked on Haiti and worked with Haiti for so long, that they are under no illusions that this is going to be a fun assignment or an easy assignment,” Sands mentioned. “And just year after year, crisis after crisis, I think a lot of the countries that do pay attention to Haiti are at a loss.”


Among the thornier issues is immigration — a rising drawback for each leaders. Just because the U.S. southern border stays a vexing political subject for Biden, the inflow of migrants can also be placing stress on Canada.

Canadian leaders seem excited by discussing the Safe Third Country Agreement, a treaty the U.S. and Canada signed in 2004 that requires asylum seekers to make their declare within the first nation they arrive in. Under the settlement, asylum seekers could be turned again to the United States if passing by an official border entry.

But migrants have discovered a loophole by unofficial crossing factors like Roxham Road, a small, well-traveled highway that straddles the Canada-U.S. border between Quebec and New York. Quebec Premier François Legault has hammered Trudeau, calling on the prime minister to raise the issue with Biden.

The U.S. can also be anticipated to increase the foundation causes of irregular migration, Cohen mentioned over the weekend.

“I think a Safe Third Country Agreement can easily be a part of that discussion, and how a revised Safe Third Country Agreement could help bring under control some of the underlying root causes of irregular migration,” he mentioned.

Trudeau on Wednesday mentioned the U.S. and Canada have been discussing the problem for months, and he hopes the leaders have an announcement “soon.”


Media reports have claimed that China meddled in Canada’s 2019 and 2021 elections, operating interference operations in opposition to leaders they felt have been hostile towards China.

Trudeau’s authorities is on the middle of a nonetheless evolving controversy surrounding these allegations. As issues first arose, Trudeau wrote off questions concerning the outcomes as election denialism, drawing comparisons to the U.S. and Jan. 6. Earlier this month, beneath growing pressure, he appointed a special investigator to advise the federal government how to probe the alleged election interference.

“Trudeau doesn’t want to talk about it, but I think if he’s smart, he might just ask Biden, ‘What do we know? Are they messing in your elections? What are we going to do for the next election?’” Sands mentioned. “Because Trudeau will have one, possibly in ‘24, certainly in ‘25. And the U.S. has big elections coming up, too. So having a conversation about how we shore up our democracy is relevant.”

Trade and essential minerals

Some commerce issues are anticipated to come up, akin to how the United States intends to comply with a dispute settlement panel ruling in opposition to its strict interpretation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s strict guidelines of origin. Canada and Mexico received that case late final yr and may impose retaliation on probably billions of {dollars} of American exports if the three nations don’t work out a negotiated settlement.

There can also be a longtime dispute over U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing duties on softwood lumber and a spat of Canadian measures. Among them, restrictions on dairy imports, a proposed digital service tax and pending laws that the U.S. Trade Representative says may affect digital streaming providers and on-line information sharing and discriminate in opposition to U.S. companies.

But the nations are working collectively on a collaborative foundation to scale back provide vulnerabilities in key areas like essential minerals, which can be wanted in giant portions for electrical autos, photo voltaic panels and different clear power applied sciences supposed to curb reliance on fossil fuels.

Climate issues and the Inflation Reduction Act

The U.S. and Canada have dedicated to net-zero emissions by 2050, however each nations proceed to use extra oil and gasoline than they want, Sands mentioned.

The U.S.’ Inflation Reduction Act will even be on the desk. IRA subsidies for electrical car shoppers have been written to embrace Canada, however when it comes to batteries, Canada has joined South Korea and Europe in expressing frustration that IRA subsidies are targeted on bringing manufacturing to the United States — due to this fact pushing Canada to do extra or threat dropping this business.

Another subject that might pop up is a Canadian proposal to bury nuclear waste close to the Great Lakes. A group of U.S. lawmakers who dwell round that area launched a decision forward of Biden’s journey, urging the president to tackle the problem throughout his conferences with Trudeau.

“Storing hazardous nuclear waste in our shared waterways threatens the drinking water of millions of people in the United States and Canada and jeopardizes jobs in the fishing, boating and tourism industries,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) mentioned in a press release. “I urge President Biden to address Canada’s plan to permanently bury nuclear waste in the Great Lakes basin as he meets with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau.”

Doug Palmer, Nick Taylor-Vaisey and Joseph Gedeon contributed to this report.

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