Canada PM Trudeau’s First Official US Visit in 20 Years. What’s on the Agenda?


Recently elected Prime Minister  of Canada, Justin Trudeau is on his first official visit to the US this week.  This is the first visit of a Canadian PM to the US in 20 years.

US president Barak Obama and PM Trudeau were both happy about the visit. President Obama raised his glass to the great alliance and also had some light moments with the Canadian PM, reported BBC.

Previously, the relation between the two countries was strained during PM Trudeau’s conservative predecessor Stephen Harper time. However, the visit materialises as the relation between Canada and US is improving lately. Apparently, President Obama extended an invitation to PM Trudeau in October 2015, after the Canadian PM’s election.

The President called PM Trudeau right after winning the election and said, “I know Canadians are incredibly inspired by your message of hope and change. I just want to point out that I had no gray hair when I was in your shoes seven years ago. So if you don’t want to have gray hair like me, you have to start dying it soon.”

PM Trudeau, after a private meeting in the White House, said that he learned a lot from the US President. He describes the POTUS as a man of “tremendous heart and tremendous intellect”.

The Canadian PM shared that both the US and Canada pledged cooperation in liberalizing investment and trade. They also pledged to promote clean energy and prevention of foreign fighters from travelling to the Middle East. They also discussed an ongoing spat over Canadian softwood lumber exports.  The matter is expected to be resolved soon.

A joint statement on environmental cooperation, released ahead of the meeting, announced that both countries would cut methane emissions by 40-45% by 2025.

There is also an agreement on establishing a world-class standard on commercial activities in the Arctic, which includes oil and gas exploration.

Although the President and Prime Minister share a common interest, the cooperation between the two countries will be hindered by many factors. In the US, there are fierce critics of existing trade policies, immigration and the refugee policies, particularly on the Syrian refugees.  Canada has welcomed them with open arms while the US has not. However, if one of these critics replaces President Obama then the situations will be completely different, reported Time.

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