Biden, Trudeau united against authoritarian regimes after China-Russia summit

March 25, 2023 11:27 am

[Source: Reuters]

U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented a united front against authoritarian regimes as Biden visited the Canadian capital days after the leaders of China and Russia held a Moscow summit.

Images of Biden and Trudeau standing side by side in Ottawa announcing agreements including on semiconductors and migration represented a counterpoint to the scene in Moscow days ago.

There, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin professed friendship and pledged closer ties as Russia struggles to make gains in what the West considers an unjust invasion of Ukraine.

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At a joint news conference with Trudeau, Biden questioned the level of China and Russia’s cooperation, noting that China has not provided weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine.

Biden said the U.S. had expanded alliances including with NATO, the G7, South Korea and the Quad nations of the U.S., Australia, India and Japan.

Addressing Canada’s parliament, Biden said that, as NATO members, the two countries would “defend every inch of NATO territory.”

Trudeau told the news conference that Ukraine was a top issue.

At the news conference, Trudeau announced the two leaders had signed an agreement with IBM (IBM.N) to develop semiconductor capacity and ease reliance on foreign makers after supply-chain problems bedevilled both countries.

The U.S. Defense Production Act will give $250 million, Biden said.

Canada has an abundance of the critical minerals used to produce batteries and electric vehicles (EVs), but China currently dominates the global market.

Trudeau is preparing a budget to be published on Tuesday aimed at scaling up critical mineral and clean tech production.

Biden announced $50 million to incentivize U.S. and Canadian companies to invest in packaging semiconductors and said Canada would provide up to C$250 million ($182 million) for semiconductor projects in the near term, according to a joint statement.

The two countries also agreed on an energy transformation task force focusing on clean power and vowed to cooperate on a “North American critical minerals supply chain,” the statement said.

Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, two Canadian men whom China had detained for more than 1,000 days until 2021, attended the speeches. Both leaders addressed the men, who had been at the centre of a dispute between Washington and Beijing.

Ahead of their meetings, the two leaders had already struck a deal aimed at stopping asylum seekers from traversing the shared U.S.-Canada land border via unofficial crossings.