Reaffirming the strong relationship between the US and Canada on Friday, President Joe Biden said in an address to Canada’s parliament that the two countries have “built a partnership that is an incredible benefit to both of our nations.”
“No two nations on earth are bound by such close ties, friendship, family, trade and culture. Our unions cross borders, so do our sports leagues, baseball, basketball, hockey,” Biden said in Ottawa during his first visit to Canada as president .
Biden cited many of the areas of cooperation between the US and Canada, including strengthening Ukraine’s defenses against military attacks from Russia.
After his speech, Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new agreement on migrants and asylum seekers. Trudeau has said he wants help from the Biden administration stem the flow of migrants to his country from the US seeking asylum.
The new policy would apply to people caught without citizenship in either country within 14 days of crossing the US-Canada border. Canada has also pledged to take in another 15,000 migrants from the Western Hemisphere on a humanitarian basis next year.
Illegal crossings to the US from Canada have risen to all-time highs, although they still account for a fraction of crossings to the US from Mexico.
In their joint statement, Biden and Trudeau also described how they would address issues around China, instability in Haiti and NORAD.
“We disagree on things to an extent at times,” Biden said in brief remarks ahead of one of his meetings with Trudeau. “But there is no fundamental difference in democratic values.”
Trudeau praised his country’s relationship with the US, saying Canada “has no greater friend and ally than the United States”.
At the other bilateral meeting, Biden sat at a long table with key members of his administration — including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm — facing their Canadian counterparts.
In the evening, Biden and the first lady will attend a gala dinner hosted by Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
Peter Nicholas And Julia Ainsley contributed.