Capitol Report: Biden to focus on climate and COVID in meeting with Canada’s Trudeau

United States

President Joe Biden is set to unveil a new “roadmap” with Canada during his meeting Tuesday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as the two allies plan to cooperate on combating the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

The meeting is Biden’s first bilateral meeting with a foreign leader as president. The two leaders made brief remarks at the opening of the meeting, which is being held virtually due to the pandemic.

“I look forward to seeing you in person in the future,” Biden said, reading from an iPad. “The United States has no closer friend than Canada,” the president told Trudeau, according to a White House pool report.

Trudeau said Canada was excited to be working with the U.S. again on climate change and told Biden, “U.S. leadership has been sorely missed over the past years.”

The White House called the roadmap Biden will unveil “a blueprint for our whole-of-government relationship, based on our shared values and commitment to work in partnership on areas of mutual concern, such as the recovery from COVID-19 and global health security, efforts to combat climate change and shared priorities in defense and security.”

There’s a possibility Trudeau could raise again with Biden the idea of allowing Canada to buy vaccines from a Pfizer PFE, -1.02% plant in Michigan — an issue the Canadian leader brought up last month, according to the Associated Press. Biden for now remains focused on first inoculating the U.S. population, the AP cited a senior administration official as saying.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at an afternoon briefing she doesn’t anticipate Biden giving Trudeau assurances about getting those vaccines during the meeting, but “all options are on the table down the road.”

Trudeau may also bring up Biden’s “Buy American” executive order, which is designed to encourage the U.S. government to spend more procurement dollars to boost American factories and hiring. As the AP writes, the issue is crucial to Canada since the U.S. accounts for around 75% of its exports. Psaki said she didn’t expect Biden to make commitments on the issue at the meeting.

Now see: All of President Biden’s key executive orders — in one chart

The two leaders are expected to announce a strengthened commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and a concerted effort towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  

Also read: ‘Pittsburgh can’t win the day without Paris, or vice versa’ — these mayors are allies not foes on climate change

Biden’s decision to revoke approval for the Canada-to-U.S. Keystone oil pipeline rankled Canadian leaders. But Biden is unlikely to change his mind on the issue, which was among his first executive orders.

Read: Here’s what Biden’s early actions mean for oil’s outlook

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.05% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.13% eked out gains in the final hour of trade Tuesday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.50% finished modestly lower, after congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell helped reverse a market selloff tied largely to a sharp rise in bond yields.

See: Market Snapshot