Here’s what’s happening at the 2021 North American Leaders’ Summit:
- Trudeau held a press conference after summit where he said the Biden administration is well aware of Canada’s position on the Buy American provision in the EV tax credit, but did not point to any sign that the President or members of Congress are sympathetic to Canada’s arguments.
- At a trilateral meeting, Biden made the case for the “three vibrant democracies” to prove that democracy as a political model can deliver in the 21st century.
- Trudeau was at the White House for Three Amigos meeting, where he also met with Vice President Kamala Harris.
10:30 p.m. ET
Trudeau says Biden administration well aware of Canadian concerns on Buy American provisions
After a more than three-hour Three Amigos meeting, Mr. Trudeau held a 9:30 p.m. press conference at the Canadian embassy. Asked whether he had made any progress moving Mr. Biden or U.S. legislators on the Buy American provision in the electric vehicle tax credit, Mr. Trudeau said the Americans are well aware of his position but did not point to any sign that the President or members of Congress are sympathetic to Canada’s arguments.
“We have been highlighting our concern about the proposed credit for electric vehicles uniquely made in the United States and the impact it would have on Canadian jobs and the Canadian auto industry at a time when we are investing significantly in the kinds of zero emissions vehicles that the world is going to need in the coming years,” he said. “Canada has highlighted real concerns about the impact it would have, not just on Canada, but the integrated industry and workers on both sides of the border.”
7:42 p.m. ET
Trudeau says Three Amigos are focused on economic recovery and strengthening supply chains
U.S. President Joe Biden opened the joint meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador by framing North American co-operation as part of the fight against mounting international authoritarianism.
He described the countries as “three vibrant democracies” that can “prove democracies can deliver in the second quarter of the 21st century.”
“We can meet all the challenges if we just take the time to speak to one another,” he said.
The three leaders sat around a large table in the centre of the White House’s gold-tinged East Room, while ministers and advisors from their respective countries sat around the perimeter.
In his public comments, Mr. Trudeau steered clear of the trade tensions over Mr. Biden’s protectionist policies on electric vehicles and infrastructure spending.
The Prime Minister said the three countries are “focused on economic recovery and strengthened supply chains.”
5:17 p.m. ET
Trudeau starts private meeting with Biden pressing on electric vehicles
Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Biden met alone for 20 minutes, which Mr. Trudeau opened by pressing Mr. Biden on electric vehicles, said a Canadian government official briefed on the sit-down. They then met for an additional 40 minutes with members of their cabinets and staff. The meeting went longer than had originally been planned for.
The official said that the pair also discussed securing critical minerals and cross-border supply chains, and how to deal with the rise of authoritarianism. The source did not know how Mr. Biden responded to Mr. Trudeau’s entreaties on the protectionism of the tax credit.
4:26 p.m. ET
Trudeau meets with Vice-President Kamala Harris
Mr. Trudeau met with Vice-President Kamala Harris after his sit-down with Mr. Biden. Before the meeting, she showed him around her office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House and the pair admired the view from her balcony.
Ms. Harris told Mr. Trudeau that Canada and the U.S. are “like family” and recalled her time living in Montreal during her high school days. Ms. Harris did not answer questions from reporters on the buy American provision in the proposed electric vehicle tax credit.
“We’re like family,” Kamala Harris tells Justin Trudeau (she didn’t respond to my later question on the buy American EV tax credit) pic.twitter.com/sTsymhNzq3— Adrian Morrow (@AdrianMorrow) November 18, 2021
4:05 p.m. ET
Plenty of room for compromise on U.S. EV tax credit, Freeland says
The Canadian Press
4:00 p.m. ET
Canada told to wait before lobbying for an exemption on the electric vehicle tax credit
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plainly didn’t get what he wanted from U.S. President Joe Biden, who effectively told him to wait until after the electric vehicle tax credit becomes law before lobbying him for a Canadian exemption.
Not the answer Justin Trudeau was hoping for: Joe Biden tells him that he wants to wait for Congress to approve the electric vehicle tax credit before discussing an exemption for Canada to the buy America provision— Adrian Morrow (@AdrianMorrow) November 18, 2021
The disappointment for Mr. Trudeau contrasted with the warm tone Mr. Biden struck during his comments opening the meeting.
“This is one of the easiest relationships you have as an American president, and one of the best,” he said, noting that he and Mr. Trudeau have spoken six times since he took office.
He also said the disaster in British Columbia was weighing on him as he tried to craft plans to fight climate change.
“I know we’re both keeping our minds close to the families affected by the storms and flooding in the British Columbia area and the Pacific Northwest,” Mr. Biden said. “One of the things that we’ve spent time on, that’s on our global agenda, is climate change.”
Mr. Trudeau said the two countries are “hugely aligned on climate and COVID.”
The pair even traded quips on their countries’ very different approaches to health care. When Mr. Biden asked reporters if they had health insurance, Mr. Trudeau replied: “Half of them are Canadian, so they definitely have health coverage.”
– Robert Fife and Adrian Morrow
2:49 p.m. ET
Biden non-committal on EV carve out for Canada; Psaki take exception to claims the tax violates USMCA trade deal
President Joe Biden was non-committal about whether his administration would give Canada a carve out on its tax incentives for elective vehicles assembled in the United States.
As the President sat down for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the Oval Office, he was asked whether he would revise the plan that could harm Canada’s auto industry.
He told reporters that tax credits of up to $12,500 for EV vehicles manufactured in the US has still not passed Congress.
“The answer is: I don’t know, and I don’t know what we’re going to be dealing with, quite frankly, when it comes out of the legislation, so we’ll talk about it then”
Later, White House Press secretary Jen Psaki took strong exception Canada’s claims that the tax incentives violate the renegotiated continental trade pact.
“In our view the electric vehicle tax credits is an opportunity to help consumers in this country,” she told a White House news conference. “It’s not the first time that there have been incentives and tax credits to help consumers, lower prices for consumers.”
The tax credits will help Americans move toward a cleaner environment by switching to electric vehicles, she added.
– Robert Fife and Adrian Morrow
1:30 p.m. ET
Trudeau arrives at the White House
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived at the White House shortly after 1:30 p.m. ET for the Three Amigos summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Mr. Trudeau is first holding a bilateral Oval Office meeting with Mr. Biden, followed by a meeting with Vice-President Kamala Harris in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the trilateral with Mr. Biden and AMLO in the East Room.
Nov 18, 1:30 p.m. ET
Mexico’s president keen to talk Indigenous issues with Trudeau
The Mexican ambassador to Canada says President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador is keen to engage Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on finding ways to heal relations with Indigenous Peoples in his country.
Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, the Mexican ambassador to Canada, tells The Canadian Press that Lopez Obrador says Canada and Mexico can share experiences on healing their respective relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
Gomez Camacho says Lopez Obrador is more than ready to engage directly with Trudeau on the issue because both of them have placed Indigenous reconciliation at the centre of their agendas.
American officials say part of that agenda will include a Biden-driven initiative to create a North American working group on violence against Indigenous women and girls. A similar framework was announced in 2016 but it was essentially shelved when Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama at the White House.
– The Canadian Press
Nov 18, 11:10 a.m. ET
Trudeau meets with Mexico’s president
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Obrador said he looks forward to collaborating with the Trudeau on trilateral issues.
Getting Mr. López Obrador onside with his pushback against protectionist measures in U.S. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law and proposed electric vehicle tax credit will be key for Mr. Trudeau.
Both countries stand to lose if the entire electric vehicle industry is built up in the U.S., given the current heavy integration of auto supply chains across the continent.
As Mr. López Obrador – a populist known by his initials, AMLO – arrived for the meeting, a crowd of well-wishers gathered outside erupted into cries of “viva AMLO!” The President stopped on the front steps, smiled broadly and waved to them with both arms.
Following the meeting, Mexico’s foreign ministry said the two countries will seek a more inclusive economic integration in the framework of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal. Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Obrador agreed to to promote the region’s competitiveness, according to tweets by the foreign ministry during the summit.
Nov 18, 10:00 a.m. ET
Leaders to start North American supply chain working group: U.S. officials
U.S. officials said President Joe Biden wants to “deepen and expand” economic co-operation between the three countries and find compromises on issues that have troubled Canada and Mexico since Mr. Biden replaced Donald Trump as president.
“The conversation is going to be on economic co-operation, specifically, a secure and prosperous North America,” a U.S. official said. “Now the leaders are going to actually start a North American supply chain working group that is going to look at – with a goal to really define essential industries to minimize future disruptions, including work in areas like critical minerals.”
Nov 18, 9:00 a.m. ET
Summit to focus on efforts to rebuild after COVID-19
President Joe Biden is hosting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House today. The focus of the summit will be joining forces to rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic and making the continent more resilient and self-sustaining against global supply chain bottlenecks.
As part of that economic rebuilding plan, Canada and Mexico will outline a measure to redistribute millions of American-supplied excess vaccines to other Western Hemisphere countries, officials told The Canadian Press.
The three leaders will also look at strengthening trilateral co-operation on the Western Hemisphere’s unprecedented migration crisis that has seen millions of asylum seekers at Mexico’s borders. Biden also wants to engage with Canada and Mexico on dealing with the root causes of the mass migration of asylum seekers south of the Mexican border.
Nov 17, 6:50 pm. ET
Trudeau promises three-stage approach to loosening COVID-19 testing rules
In a meeting between Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat and co-chair of the House Northern Border Caucus, Mr. Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and several other U.S. lawmakers, Mr. Trudeau said Ottawa will first loosen the PCR testing rules for Canadian citizens, then for Americans and finally for people from all other countries.
Nov. 17, 12:00 p.m. ET
Trudeau arrives in Washington; pledges to raise ‘Buy American’ strategy with Biden
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Washington Wednesday for talks with Congressional leaders, and trilateral talks with President Joe Biden and his Mexico counterpart.
On Monday, Trudeau said he intends to use his one-on-one time with Mr. Biden to stress the economic vitality of continental trade and the importance of integrated supply chains, promoted by Biden’s focus on the “Buy American” strategy for the auto sector and infrastructure projects.
Trudeau said one of the key issues he intends to raise with Mr. Biden is how vital Canada is to American industry and that Canada has huge reserves of critical minerals necessary for electric cars and iPhones and new technology.
Listen to Adrian Morrow on The Decibel
While U.S. President Joe Biden is a familiar face to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, some of the current U.S. policies are not so nice to Canada. The Globe and Mail’s U.S. correspondent, Adrian Morrow, talks about what the leaders will discuss at the summit – and which industries Trudeau will be hyping.
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