White House works to inject stateliness into a virtual visit from Justin Trudeau
February 23, 2021 at 10:00
And to conclude, Trudeau's face will pop up again from the State Floor of the White House, where he will deliver a joint statement alongside an in-the-flesh Biden.
But with the US-Canada border still closed and the administration intent on modeling its own pandemic guidance, the virtual meeting will have to do.
The notion of meeting remotely is hardly new for most Americans, who are about to enter a second year of video-calls and virtual get-togethers.
But former President Donald Trump had mostly ignored social distancing guidelines and continued welcoming foreign leaders amid the pandemic.
Trudeau's will be the first "virtual bilateral meeting" convened at the White House.
The pitfalls of a virtual diplomacy were on display last week when Group of 7 leaders met on a video call .
Biden and Trudeau have already spoken by telephone and have known each other for years.
Trudeau expressed his disappointment that Biden was canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Alberta across the US-Canada border.
Trudeau is expected to press Biden on making more Covid-19 vaccines available for Canadians.
Officials said Biden was focused on "making sure every American is vaccinated" but wants to discuss ways of working together to combat the virus.
But by-and-large Biden and Trudeau are riding the same wave-length, at least compared to Trump, who enacted a combative trade agenda and personally insulted Trudeau on several occasions.
"Nearly priority of the Biden administration is one where we have value alignment and the space for collaboration with Canada," an official said ahead of the talks.