President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to meet

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will today hold their first bilateral meeting. Sharing a common

PATRICK DOYLE THE CANADIAN PRESS

Photo: Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will today hold their first bilateral meeting.

Sharing a common border, language and culture, the Canada-US relationship is as close as it is complex, and stability is often taken for granted. After his inauguration, Biden returned to a precedent of mutual respect when selecting Trudeau for his first call to a foreign leader. The two leaders have looked forward to a rapprochement after four years of growing hostilities under former president Donald Trump, which culminated in US-imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium in the name of “national security.”

Biden’s election hasn’t meant an immediate return to stable relations. On his first day in office, Biden upheld a campaign promise to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have transferred oil from Alberta to Nebraska, upsetting Ottawa. Biden will try to move beyond Keystone quickly as Washington seeks coordination on reopening borders, trade policy, and relations with China—Ottawa still holds Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou under a US extradition request while China has detained two Canadians for two years. Trudeau, for his part, will try to secure US vaccine supplies, as the Canadian rollout has faltered due to European production shortages that have delayed shipments to Canada.

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