Canada and the USA will “write the long run together,” U.S. President Joe Biden told Canadian lawmakers and leaders Friday in a speech that drew on the themes of collaboration and hope.
Biden, who’s in Ottawa for his first official visit as U.S. president, addressed the House of Commons for roughly half-hour Friday afternoon. While he shared tidbits of reports regarding shared policy from the 2 nations, he ended with the message that each nations are defined by the opportunities they create.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re living in an age of possibilities. (Chinese President) Xi Jinping asked me on the Tibetan plateau, ‘Can I define America?’ I could have said the identical thing if he asked about Canada. I said yes, one word, and I mean one word: possibilities,” he said.
“Nothing is beyond our capability. We will do anything. We have now to always remember. We must not ever doubt our capability. Canada and the USA can do great things. We stand together, through them together, rise together. We’re going to jot down the long run together, I promise you.”
Canadian visits are often the primary for a latest U.S. president, but Biden’s trip was postponed resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden arrived in Canada on Thursday night and had dinner with Prime Justin Trudeau and his family at Rideau Cottage, the prime minister’s official residence.
After meeting Canadian officials on Parliament Hill and attending bilateral meetings, each leaders entered the House of Commons to deliver speeches.
They each pledged to face together against authoritarian regimes, pointing to the shoring up of North American industry, particularity in critical minerals and semiconductors.
Canada has a wealth of critical minerals needed to provide batteries and electric vehicles (EVs). Nevertheless, China – a growing adversary to each nations – currently dominates the worldwide market.
“I think we have now an incredible opportunity to work together, so Canada and the USA can source and provide here in North America every thing we’d like for reliable and resilient supply chains,” Biden said in his speech.
“Our shared prosperity is deeply connected to our shared security.”
Biden also said that as NATO members, the 2 countries would “defend every inch of NATO territory” and each leaders committed to supporting Ukraine because it fights against Russia’s invasion.
Biden also acknowledged the presence of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor within the visitor’s gallery of the House of Commons, who received multiple standing ovations.
It was the primary public appearance for the 2 together since they were released from Chinese imprisonment in September 2021 — nearly three years after they were detained, arrested and charged on allegations of spying in apparent retaliation for Canada’s decision to arrest Chinese telecom executive Meng Wanzhou in 2018 on the request of the U.S. government.
“Our residents should not bargaining chips, they’re not diplomatic leverage,” said Biden. “They’re human beings with lives and families that have to be respected. And I’m very glad to see the 2 Michaels are safely back to their family.”
The 2 men appeared touched by the applause they received, looking repeatedly at one another, occasionally waving back at someone down below them on the ground of the chamber.
“Wow,” Spavor said, his eyes wide. Kovrig, standing beside him, looked near tears.
Biden also evoked laughs from MPs at times – in addition to surprise for a slip up when he uttered China as an alternative of Canada. Biden began his speech saying “Bonjour Canada,” and mentioned how he was laughed at when he first tried to deliver a speech in French. He also took a shot on the Toronto Maple Leafs, saying that while he likes Canadian teams, he doesn’t just like the Leafs – mostly resulting from their January 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I married a Philly girl. If I didn’t say that, I’d be sleeping alone, fellas. I such as you, but not that much,” he quipped. First Lady Jill Biden grew up in Pennsylvania.
Trudeau, whose government is ready to table its 2023 budget next week, aimed toward scaling up critical mineral and clean tech production in his speech.
“Security policy is climate policy is economic policy,” he repeated 3 times his speech.
“With growing competition, including from an increasingly assertive China, there’s little question why it matters that we turn to one another now to accumulate a North American market on every thing from semiconductors to solar panel batteries.”
— with files from Reuters