In his first phone call with a foreign leader since he became the 46th US President, Joe Biden has pledged to work with Canada while speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Taking to Twitter after the call on Friday, Trudeau said: “When it comes to ending the pandemic, growing the middle class, fighting climate change, and creating good jobs for people on both sides of the border, @POTUS @JoeBiden and I know there’s a lot of work to do together – and no time to waste.
“On our call today, we spoke about these and other issues, and agreed to work shoulder to shoulder to address them. I also congratulated @POTUS @JoeBiden on his inauguration. Talk again soon, Joe.”
Speaking to CBC News, a senior Canadian government official said that the conversation between the two leaders during the 30-minute phone call was “warm, friendly and collegial”.
“Many of the priorities are aligned. He’s (Biden) got a good rapport with us and wants to work with us, as we do with him,” the official said.
According to a statement issued by Trudeau’s Office, the President and the Prime Minister’s discussion included wide ranging topics like the response against the raging Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, climate change, continental security, working with Indigenous peoples and international relations.
Biden and Trudeau have also agreed to meet next month, the statement said without providing other details like the date and venue.
The phone call took place two days after Biden signed an executive order to revoke the existing presidential permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, which would carry oil from Canada to the American Gulf Coast.
In response, Trudeau had said that “we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL”.
The senior government official told CBC News that during Friday’s call Biden acknowledged the hardship the decision would create in Canada but “defended his decision by saying he was making good on a campaign promise and restoring a decision made by the former Barack Obama administration”.
According to the statement, two leaders also discussed another potential area of conflict, the President’s commitment to including ‘Buy American’ provisions that privilege American companies in future infrastructure spending plans.
“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 President agreed to consult closely to avoid measures that may constrain bilateral trade, supply chains, and economic growth,” it added.