- President Joe Biden will visit Canada on March 23-24 to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Canadian soil.
- The two leaders will discuss ongoing upgrades to the Norad continental defense system, cooperation in the Arctic and clean energy transition, strategies to minimize dependence on China, and bilateral tensions, including access to Canada’s dairy market and how the U.S. defines foreign content in autos.
- They will also address the pandemic, economic recovery, and climate change.
U.S. President Joe Biden will travel to Ottawa on March 23 to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Canadian soil, his first visit north of the border since taking the oath of office in 2021. The one-night trip will take place on March 23 and 24.
Joint Continental Defense System Upgrades
The two leaders will discuss ongoing upgrades to the aging, jointly led Norad continental defense system. The system came under heavy scrutiny last month when a Chinese surveillance balloon drifted through U.S. and Canadian airspace. The prime minister’s office said in a statement, “Keeping North Americans safe from new and emerging threats requires a coordinated response.”
Cooperation in Arctic and Clean Energy Transition
During the visit, the prime minister and the president will highlight ongoing cooperation on continental defense, including Norad’s key role in defending North America. They will also advance cooperation in the Arctic. The two leaders plan to talk about how to fortify shared supply chains, combat climate change and “accelerate the clean energy transition.”
Importance of U.S.-Canada Bilateral Relationship
One of the likely highlights of the visit will come when Biden addresses a joint session of Parliament “to highlight the importance of the United States-Canada bilateral relationship,” said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Post-Pandemic Industrial Revolution
Strategies to minimize dependence on China for critical minerals and semiconductors, two vital components in the global push to expand the popularity of electric vehicles and fuel what some experts liken to a post-pandemic industrial revolution, are sure to be high on the agenda.
Biden to Address Joint Session of Parliament
Biden will address a joint session of Parliament during his visit to highlight the importance of the United States-Canada bilateral relationship, according to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Opposition to Russia’s Offensive in Ukraine and Haiti Crisis
Opposition to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine will be discussed, as well as what to do about Haiti, where Canada is facing international pressure to take a lead role in quelling widespread and rampant gang violence. The PMO statement emphasized a familiar Trudeau message on Haiti: that efforts to deal with the crisis should be “Haitian-led.”
There will be bilateral tensions to address as well. The post-NAFTA era, where the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is now the law of the land in continental trade, has been marked by irritants, including access to Canada’s dairy market and how the U.S. defines foreign content in autos. Immigration has also become a hot topic.
Pandemic, Economic Recovery, Climate Change
The US and Canada have faced significant challenges over the past few years, and the visit is an excellent opportunity to reset relations between the two countries. The two leaders will have a lot to talk about, particularly due to the pandemic, which has affected bilateral travel rules, economic recovery efforts, and recalibrating domestic and international supply chains. Both countries have their eyes on arresting the march of climate change worldwide.
The visit’s importance
A visit to Canada is customary for a new US president’s first foreign trip. This tradition was upended two years ago by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the two leaders settling for a virtual meeting instead. However, a physical visit is an essential bilateral meeting for both countries, with the CEO of the Canadian American Business Council, Scotty Greenwood, stating that it focuses both bureaucracies on the breadth and depth of bilateral and multilateral issues, causing everyone to focus on Canada.
US President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada on March 23 and 24 is a much-anticipated event that is expected to address several critical issues that are relevant to both countries. The leaders will discuss several topics, including the ongoing crisis in Haiti, immigration, and bilateral trade issues. The visit will also highlight the importance of the US-Canada bilateral relationship and help both countries focus on the breadth and depth of bilateral and multilateral issues.