Joe Biden’s first presidential visit to Canada, intended to mark the renewed friendship between the two neighboring countries, should give rise to announcements on Friday on Haiti, immigration and the economy.
• Read also: [EN IMAGES] Joe Biden arrived in Canada for his first official visit
• Read also: Washington responds to attack in Syria: 11 pro-Iranian fighters killed
The program will be busy for the 80-year-old Democrat who was unable to travel to this neighboring and ally country immediately after his inauguration, as is customary for American presidents, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joe Biden will be received shortly after 10 a.m. for a working meeting by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He must speak at 12:50 p.m. in front of the Canadian Parliament.
The two leaders will then give a press conference at 2:45 p.m.
The relationship between Washington and Ottawa is infinitely more cordial than during Donald Trump’s presidency, but the two countries have some sticking points.
On one of them, irregular immigration, the visit could lead to progress, assure Radio-Canada and the New York Times.
Americans and Canadians have reportedly reached an agreement to close the “Roxham Road”, a makeshift route by which about 40,000 migrants arrived in Canada last year, bypassing official entry points from the United States.
These arrivals provoked a lively political debate in Canada.
At the White House, they claim to understand Canadian concerns, but they point out that the subject is also topical in the United States, in quite different proportions.
In January, the American authorities made more than 128,000 arrests for attempts to illegally enter American territory from Mexico, and the American right does not miss an opportunity to accuse Joe Biden of laxity in the face of the phenomenon.
Another topic of discussion will be Haiti, in the throes of extreme violence and a serious humanitarian crisis.
A Canadian government source told AFP to expect an announcement of “significant funding” on Friday, relating to humanitarian aid and the training of Haitian law enforcement.
The United States would also welcome Canada playing a leading role in sending an international force to the Caribbean country.
The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken cautiously reported on Thursday of “discussions with the Canadian government to see what we could do together as well as with other countries, the countries of Caricom (Caribbean) and the region”.
Military spending will also be on the agenda, as Washington pushes for an effort by NATO members amid war in Ukraine and rising tensions with China.
Ottawa is far from devoting 2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to its defense budget, the threshold set for the countries of the transatlantic alliance.
In particular, there could be talk Friday in Ottawa of a modernization of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad).
Finally, the economy will be an unavoidable subject for these two very closely integrated countries.
Justin Trudeau, whose country is the first customer of the United States in terms of foreign trade, will want to advance his pawns on the economic ground.
The American president has adopted a huge subsidy plan for the energy transition, the “Inflation Reduction Act”, aimed at supporting the production and development of technologies on American soil.
The major trading partners of the United States fear that this turn will close their outlets.
The Canadian government source said it expects the joint press conference to see announcements on semiconductors and strengthening supply chains in North America.