By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
Canada's new liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Washington right now for the first official visit by a Canadian prime minister in almost 20 years. Trudeau was welcomed earlier with a red-carpet ceremony, which will be followed by a “lavish state dinner.” The dinner will be hosted for the prime minister and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau. The menu will feature food from Canada such as poutine, Nanaimo bars and white chocolate snowballs.
According to the BBC, US and Canada relations are currently improving, having become strained under Stephen Harper, Trudeau's conservative predecessor. President Obama officially invited Trudeau shortly after he was elected in October 2015.
There is no relationship in the world quite like the Canada-US relationship. pic.twitter.com/kMRQDSgKRn
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 10, 2016
Obama spoke highly of Trudeau, saying that the pair shared "a common outlook" and that Trudeau had brought "new energy and dynamism not only to Canada but to the relationship between our nations". He added that the United States and Canada were "blessed to be neighbours". After their meeting, Trudeau said he had learned a lot from "my friend Barack." He described Obama as "a man of both tremendous heart and tremendous intellect."
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 10, 2016
While the trip highlights the improving relations between the two nations, it also has political implications. Ahead of the meeting, a joint statement on environmental cooperation announced that the US and Canada would cut methane emissions by 40-45% below 2012 levels, by 2025. Obama and Trudeau have also pledged cooperation on liberalising investment and trade, promoting clean energy and preventing radical foreign fighters from travelling to the Middle East.
Trudeau also said that an ongoing trade dispute over Canadian softwood lumber exports was discussed and that it is expected to be resolved soon.
Here’s what James Poulos has to say about America’s leadership role in the world:
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