Trudeau expressed disappointment with Biden’s decision to revoke Keystone XL’s cross-border approval. Biden admitted that this was a blow to Canada, but underlined that it was his campaign commitment.
Earlier on Friday, Trudeau said he intended to speak to Biden about the implications of the Keystone is moving to Canadian jobs. However, he indicated that he would not argue with Biden on the matter, noting that Canadians and the new administration are “much more value-oriented” than the previous one. He and other federal officials have said they “respect” Biden’s decision.
“It won’t always be a perfect match with the United States,” Trudeau said on Friday morning. “That is the case with every president.”
Still, the leaders of Canada’s troubled oil producing provinces say Biden’s first move was an insult and are urging Trudeau to take a tougher line. Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney has urged Trudeau to impose trade and economic sanctions on Washington if diplomatic efforts to get involved in the pipeline fail, and he appeared on Fox News Friday to express his anger to repeat.
“It’s very frustrating that one of the first acts of a new president was to disregard America’s closest friend and ally – Canada,” Kenney told Fox.
Trudeau and Biden agreed to join their offices on Buy America matters so that Canada would not be surprised, an official said. Biden is expected to post an executive order to promote Buy America next week.
The heads of state and government also discussed Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians who have been detained in China since December 2018. Her arrests are said to be in retaliation by Beijing against Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.
Biden said the US “would be as helpful as possible,” said the second official.
During the call, Biden recalled his last trip to Canada in December 2016, when Trudeau tossed the then Vice-President a state dinner in December 2016.
“I think this is kind of a new moment and full of new opportunities for a very strong good relationship,” said the second officer, describing the call as “really warm and cooperative.”