Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau Work to Strengthen U.S.-Canada Relations During Official Visit

Biden was escorted by Trudeau into the West Block where he briefly greeted dignitaries, including Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, other party leaders, senators, the House of Commons Speaker, and parliamentary clerks.

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U.S. President Joe Biden arrived on Parliament Hill as part of his official visit to Canada, which includes a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an address to Parliament, and a gala dinner at the Aviation Museum in the city. Biden was escorted by Trudeau into the West Block where he briefly greeted dignitaries, including Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, other party leaders, senators, the House of Commons Speaker, and parliamentary clerks.

During the introductions, Poilievre identified himself as the leader of the “His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition,” to which Biden jokingly replied, “Loyal, huh?” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May presented a chocolate bar made by a Syrian refugee to Biden, who appeared bemused, before he was taken away for a one-on-one meeting with Trudeau.

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Biden expressed his delight at being back in Canada, saying, “It’s been too long between meetings. I think it was 2016 I was here. I tell other world leaders I meet with — we’re lucky we have Canada to our north. All our values are the same. We agree and disagree on things occasionally but there’s no fundamental difference in the democratic values we share, and it really makes a big difference. It’s an honor to be here, and there’s a lot to talk about, and I think we’ll get a lot done today.”

The visit is an opportunity for Biden and Trudeau to continue their efforts to renew the bilateral relationship, which was marked by some tension in recent years. The Trump years were a challenging time for Canadian officials, and while there were some early irritants in the early days of Biden’s presidency, including the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline and protectionist policies like Buy American, there has been meaningful progress on key issues, including a deal to protect the NEXUS trusted traveller program and a plan to include Canadian-made vehicles in a U.S. electric vehicle tax credit program.

The busy day includes a meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, an expanded bilateral meeting, an address to Parliament, a press conference, and a gala dinner at the Aviation Museum with Trudeau and dignitaries. This is the first non-summit overnight visit by a U.S. president in almost 20 years, and both leaders are expected to focus on strengthening the relationship between their countries.

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