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Better late than never: Trudeau finally gets a home-turf visit from U.S. president

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. vice-president Joe Biden walk down the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. Biden will once again sit down with Trudeau in Ottawa beginning Thursday, his first official visit to Canada as U.S. president.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. vice-president Joe Biden walk down the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. Biden will once again sit down with Trudeau in Ottawa beginning Thursday, his first official visit to Canada as U.S. president.

WASHINGTON – Joe Biden’s final official go to to Canada got here with a palpable sense of foreboding.

Change was within the air. Authoritarian leaders in Syria and Turkey had been consolidating energy. Britain had voted to depart the European Union. And Donald Trump was ready within the wings to take over the White Home.

You are reading: Better late than never: Trudeau finally gets a home-turf visit from U.S. president

“Real leaders” had been briefly provide, and Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could be referred to as upon to step up, mentioned the U.S. vice-president, who was on a farewell tour of types within the waning days of the Obama administration.

Six years later, Biden is coming again — this time as president — and the world could be very completely different. His message possible received’t be.

“There’s a seriousness to this second in America,” mentioned Goldy Hyder, the president and CEO of the Enterprise Council of Canada, who spent a lot of final week assembly with U.S. officers in D.C.

Chinese language spy balloons are drifting by way of North American airspace. Russian MiG fighter jets are downing U.S. drones because the bloody warfare in Ukraine grinds on. North Korea is testing long-range ballistic missiles.

And Xi Jinping is sitting down Monday with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, a gathering that can underscore the geopolitical context by which the U.S. sees the world — and amp up the stress on Canada to stay a keen and dependable accomplice, not solely in Ukraine however elsewhere as properly.

“It shines a a lot brighter mild on safety in all its kinds: nationwide safety, financial safety, power safety, cybersecurity — all of these items come house to roost,” Hyder mentioned of that assembly.

“For America, there’s nothing extra essential, and there ought to nothing extra essential for us, fairly frankly.”

Enter essential minerals, the important parts of electric-vehicle batteries, semiconductors, wind generators and navy tools that each Biden and Trudeau think about pivotal to the expansion of the inexperienced financial system.

Ending Chinese language dominance in that house is Job 1 for the Biden administration, and Canada has essential minerals in abundance. Nevertheless it takes time to construct an extractive business just about from scratch, particularly nowadays — and consultants say the U.S. is rising impatient.

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“The fact is, no one’s transferring quick sufficient, relative to escalating demand,” mentioned Eric Miller, president of the D.C.-based Rideau Potomac Technique Group, which makes a speciality of Canada-U.S. points.

Increasingly jurisdictions, together with the European Union and U.S. states like California and Maryland, are drawing up formidable plans to finish the manufacture of internal-combustion autos by 2035, Miller famous.

That’s simply 12 years away, whereas it might take upwards of a decade to get approval for a mine, not to mention elevate the cash, construct it and put it into manufacturing, he added.

“The problem you will have in a democracy is that processes are gradual, and are in actuality too gradual relative to the wants of creating the inexperienced transition,” Miller mentioned.

“So while you while you look throughout the panorama, after all, you suppose that different folks’s techniques are inherently simpler than your personal.”

Nationwide safety, too, has been high of thoughts ever since final month’s flurry of floating objects uncovered what Norad commander Gen. Glen VanHerck referred to as a “area consciousness hole” in North America’s growing old binational defence system.

Updating Norad has lengthy been an ongoing precedence for each international locations, however hardly ever one which both facet talked about a lot in public, mentioned Andrea Charron, a professor of worldwide relations on the College of Manitoba.

“The issue for Norad is it’s actually underneath the political radar — it’s troublesome to get politicians to commit funds and acknowledge that it’s been the primary line of defence for North America for 65 years,” Charron mentioned.

“Russian aggression and these Chinese language balloons now make it politically salient to try to velocity issues up and make these commitments.”

Hyder mentioned he expects the U.S. to proceed to press Canada on assembly its NATO spending commitments, and reiterate hopes it is going to finally conform to tackle a number one position in restoring some order in lawless, gang-ravaged Haiti.

To this point, worldwide efforts to supply coaching and sources to the nation’s nationwide police pressure aren’t getting the job achieved, the UN’s particular envoy to Haiti warned in D.C. as she referred to as for international locations to place boots on the bottom.

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“We’re not getting the job achieved,” Helen La Lime informed a gathering of the Group of American States final week. “We have to get all the way down to the enterprise of constructing this nation again.”

Roving legal gangs have been steadily rising in energy following the 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moïse, and at the moment are mentioned to regulate greater than half of the capital metropolis of Port-au-Prince.

Even within the face of public — if diplomatic — stress from U.S. officers, Trudeau would slightly assist from a distance, investing in safety forces and utilizing sanctions to focus on the highly effective Haitian elites fostering the unrest.

Haiti is a “full and complete mess” that may’t merely be mounted with navy intervention, irrespective of the dimensions of the pressure, Charron warned. The Canadian Armed Forces are already overstretched, going through ongoing long-term commitments to Ukraine and a power scarcity of personnel, she added.

“Haiti is a quagmire, and no one’s notably eager to get in there — particularly if the U.S. isn’t there to be the exit technique.”

The query of irregular migration in each instructions throughout the Canada-U.S. border can be prone to come up throughout the two-day go to, though the Biden administration shouldn’t be eager to renegotiate the Protected Third Nation Settlement, which critics say encourages migrants to sneak into Canada with a purpose to declare asylum.

As properly, search for loads of mentions of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Settlement, the NAFTA successor recognized in Canada as CUSMA that now supplies the framework for a lot of the financial relationship between the 2 international locations.

Nobody is eager to renegotiate that deal proper now both, however they want to consider it nonetheless, Hyder mentioned: a six-year evaluation clause means it might be reopened by 2026.

“All of us had a near-death expertise a number of years in the past; it doesn’t look like it was that way back,” he mentioned.

“And but right here we’re. In a matter of some years, we’ll be again at it once more.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed March 19, 2023.


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