Feb 23, 2021
Joe Biden & Justin Trudeau Statement After Bilateral Meeting Transcript February 23
President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a statement after their first bilateral meeting on February 23, 2021. Read the full transcript of the speech briefing here.
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President Joe Biden: (00:00)
Prime Minister Trudeau and I just concluded a very productive bilateral meeting. The first of what I’m sure will be many close and cooperative sessions.
President Joe Biden: (00:09)
One of our last foreign trips I made as vice president was to visit the prime minister in Ottawa. And today we’re able to drive right into the many vital issues of importance for both our nations. For both our nations getting COVID under control at home and around the world is immediate priority. And we committed to work together to help prevent future biological threats by strengthening the World Health Organization, supporting our bold targets under the Global Health Security Agenda, cooperating in a global partnership against the spread of weapons of mass destruction and engaging in other multilateral institutions to promote transparency, build capacity and strengthen global norms. We also agreed to work in close cooperation to strengthen the supply chain security and resilience, and to ensure that Canada and the United States are driving a robust economic recovery that benefits everyone, not just those at the top. That’s especially important because we know that this pandemic does not affect everyone the same way. Women are dropping out of work, the workforce, in alarming rates. Black, Latino, and native and other minorities are particularly hard hit.
President Joe Biden: (01:28)
We also agreed to work together on a inclusive recovery, using the tools available through the small and medium enterprise chapter of our trade agreement to support women and minority owned businesses. We also doubled down on our efforts to tackle climate change, it was really, really encouraging. Now that the United States is back in the Paris Agreement, we intend to demonstrate our leadership in order to spur other countries to raise their own ambitions. Canada and the United States are going to work in lockstep to display the seriousness of our commitment at both home and abroad. To that end, we’re launching a high level climate ambition ministerial, and to align our policies and our goals, and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
President Joe Biden: (02:24)
Prime Minister Trudeau and I share an unwavering faith in the capacity of our peoples to meet the challenges of this new age, if we lead with our core strengths, our democratic values, our diverse and dynamic peoples. We both recognize our responsibility as leading democracies to defend our shared values around the world and to strengthen our own democracies at home. That means rooting out systemic racism and unconscious bias from our institutions and our laws, as well as our hearts.
President Joe Biden: (03:01)
Today, we agreed to re-establish the Cross-Border Crime Forum and work together to modernize our approach to community safety and to do all, the most we can, do more to take on racism and discrimination in both our systems. Canada and the United States are and not only vital partners, we’re NATO allies committed to share defense. The prime minister and I discussed our work with our European allies to bolster transatlantic security, which includes meeting our Wales Commitments. We also agreed to modernize the North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, which is still the only binational military command of its kind. And we will launch an expanded US Canadian Arctic dialogue to cover issues related to continental security, economic, and social development and Arctic governance.
President Joe Biden: (04:01)
Finally, coming on the heels of the G7 meeting last Friday, it was an opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau and I to explore our bilateral partnership, to reinforce and help drive issues of concern in our hemisphere and globally. That includes coordinating our approaches to better compete with China and to counter threats to our interests and values. Let me reiterate, our support for the release of the detained in China, two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, excuse me. Human beings are not bartering chips, we’re going to work together until we get their safe return. Canada and the United States we’ll stand together against the abuse of universal rights and democratic freedoms. We’re going to strengthen our shared commitment to providing safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers and so much more.
President Joe Biden: (05:05)
United States has no closer and no more important friends than Canada. Our nations share close geography and history that will forever bind us together, but our values are even more consequential. It’s a shared spirit of our people that’s going to ensure ours is a future of hope and opportunity. Canadians and Americans are innovative, creative, entrepreneurial, competitive open-hearted and rights respected. There’s nothing we cannot achieve when we commit ourselves to it. And when we work together as the closest of friends should, we only make each other stronger. So thank you again, Mr. Prime minister, for your friendship and for your leadership. I look forward to when we’re able to meet in person and all the Canada United States are going to accomplish together. But God bless you and thanks for today.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (06:06)
Thank you so much, Joe. Thank you. [Foreign language 00:06:11] Let me begin by saying that all of us are thinking of our friends in Texas right now. I know Sask Power has been sending electricity down and as I told the president, Canada is here to help however we can.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (06:24)
Mr. President, it’s been great to sit down with you this afternoon. This is, of course, not the first time we’ve worked together. Back in 2016 I had the pleasure of hosting you here in Ottawa as vice-president. Over dinner I remember talking about how the extraordinary friendship between Canada and the United States has not just weathered changing seasons, it has grown ever deeper and stronger. Well today we’re taking our next step forward. The president and I discussed the ambitious new partnership roadmap based on shared values and priorities that will guide our countries work together over the coming years in the face of COVID-19 of climate change of rising inequality. This is our moment to act. So we’re not wasting any time in getting down to work.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (07:15)
Job one remains keeping people safe and ending this pandemic. This afternoon, the president and I discussed collaboration to beat COVID-19 from keeping key supplies moving and supporting science and research to joint efforts through international institutions. We’re a standing united in this fight.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (07:38)
[foreign language 00:07:38]
Prime Minister Trudeau: (07:38)
I know the president and I are on the same page when it comes to standing up for the middle class and people working hard to join it. And with millions of families relying on the Canada US partnership, this is work we must do together. Just take the energy industry, Canadian energy workers power homes on both sides of the border, it goes to show that we’re all better off for this partnership. Today, the president and I discussed leveraging supply chains and support for businesses to create good well-paying jobs and help people who’ve been hardest hit get back on their feet.
Prime Minister Trudeau: (08:56)
[foreign language 00:08:56] Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor [foreign language 00:10:08].
Prime Minister Trudeau: (10:09)
We’re facing tough times, there’s no doubt. But we’re not facing them alone. Canada and the United States are each other’s closest allies, most important trading partners and oldest friends. And we stand united to beat this pandemic and build a better tomorrow and I know our bond will grow even stronger. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Joe, for your leadership, for your engagement and thank you in advance for all the great work we’re going to be doing together [foreign language 00:10:41].
President Joe Biden: (10:41)
Thank you Justin. [foreign language 00:10:43].
Prime Minister Trudeau: (10:45)
[foreign language 00:10:45].