Trudeau beneath strain to safe Purchase America exemption in first digital meet with Biden

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

Revealed Tuesday, February 23, 2021 6:14AM EST

WASHINGTON — The White Home is not leaving a lot wiggle room for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to flee Joe Biden’s Purchase American guidelines.

The 2 leaders are set to satisfy just about later in the present day in Biden’s first bilateral assembly since taking on as U.S. president.

Trudeau is more likely to ask Biden for assist in procuring COVID-19 vaccines, since Canada has been squeezed by manufacturing issues in Europe.

The 2 leaders will even speak about China, the place Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been detained for greater than two years.

Specialists additionally need Ottawa to push laborious for a Canadian exemption from plans to prioritize U.S. companies for federal infrastructure and procurement.

However White Home press secretary Jen Psaki says no quick adjustments to the regime are on the horizon.

“He signed an govt order; we’re after all evaluating procurement elements of that, however no adjustments anticipated,” Psaki stated Monday.

“After all, the prime minister will carry up no matter he want to carry up, as is true of any bilateral assembly.”

Eric Miller, a Canada-U. S. skilled and president of the D.C.-based Rideau Potomac Technique Group, stated there may be synchronicity between the 2 leaders – and now’s the time to take benefit.

“To me, that is precisely the second for Canada to go on offence,” Miller stated.

The Biden administration and the Trudeau authorities have aligned pursuits on local weather change, a multilateral overseas coverage and on a brand new strategy to China, he stated.

And Biden, an outspoken champion of unions, must be cautious to not run afoul of organized labour teams with massive memberships on reverse sides of the border.

“If I had been Canada, I would be pitching very strongly for a Purchase American settlement – I imply, the worst they’ll say isn’t any,” Miller stated.

Blue-collar staff in Canada “are just about precisely the identical as their U.S. counterparts. Why are you going to hit them with restrictions when it is like hitting your cousin?”

On Kovrig and Spavor, Psaki didn’t acknowledge the query of whether or not Biden would provide any extra assist with getting the 2 Canadians dwelling from China.

They had been swept up greater than two years in the past in an obvious act of retaliation for Canada agreeing to arrest and detain Huawei govt Meng Wanzhou to await extradition south of the border, the place she’s accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

“We anticipate the president, in the course of the assembly, to focus on the robust and deep partnership between the US and Canada as neighbours, associates, and NATO allies,” Psaki would solely say.

“They may talk about problems with mutual curiosity, from COVID-19 to local weather change and the financial ties that bind our international locations, in addition to the deep people-to-people bonds we share.”

Maryscott Greenwood, the chief govt officer of the Canadian American Enterprise Council, stated the Prime Minister’s Workplace would do effectively to think about Donald Trump continues to be within the White Home.

“Canada launched into a really, very forward-leaning, activist agenda about participating the U.S., inside and outdoors of D.C.” when Trump was in workplace, she stated.

“It may be necessary to have that degree of urgency and that degree of effort, and never simply assume that every thing’s good now that Biden’s right here.”

The 2 leaders will even possible talk about Keystone XL, the ill-fated cross-border pipeline growth that has turn out to be a lightning rod for political criticism from each side of the aisle.

Nobody expects something to alter on that entrance; Biden made that abundantly clear by signing the venture’s demise warrant on Day 1 of his administration, and Ottawa has proven little urge for food for a battle.

However there could also be extra fights sooner or later, supplied the U.S. is critical about assembly its climate-change objectives, stated Invoice Reilly, who led the Environmental Safety Company from 1989 to 1993 beneath former president George Bush.

Canada is “very more likely to be elevating points that run counter to among the environmental aspirations that animate the Biden administration,” Reilly advised a panel dialogue Monday hosted by the American Council for Capital Formation.

“I do not suppose a few of these points are going to lend themselves to straightforward decision.”