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Canadian PM Trudeau, VP Kamala Harris discuss ‘Buy American’ policy, climate change


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    OTTAWA, Ontario (CTV News) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris on Monday about a series of cross-border issues, including the Democrats’ “Buy American” policy, according to his office.

In a readout from the bilateral call, the PMO says the pair talked about Harris’ years spent in Montreal, which she “recalled fondly,” and the two leaders dug into some pressing policy matters.

Trudeau’s office said on the call the prime minister discussed “avoiding the unintended consequences of Buy American policies,” and raised climate change, the “centrality of democratic principles” and the need to promote diversity.

The readout from the conversation issued by Harris’ office didn’t reference U.S. President Joe Biden’s promise to prioritize U.S.-based suppliers, specifically. It’s an approach the Canadian government has suggested they will try to expand to become a so-called ‘buy North American’ policy.

In what sounds like a jam-packed call, the pair also found time to touch on firearm trafficking, gender-based violence, and the ongoing Chinese detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.

Harris’ readout was more brief, summarizing the call as one where Harris “underscored Canada’s deep importance to the United States as an economic and strategic partner, and she expressed the United States’ desire to work closely with Canada on a wide range of issues.”

There is a bilateral meeting in the works between Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden, though given the pandemic and newly-tightened travel measures, it’s set to happen virtually in some form and a date has not been announced.

Trudeau was the first foreign leader to receive a phone call from Biden after he took office in January. Political leaders in both countries have indicated their desire to reset the Canada-U.S. relationship, though it’s gotten off to a rocky start with Biden’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project which the prime minister supported.

According to the vice-president’s statement about the call the two have agreed to “remain in close touch, and to support all efforts to expand bilateral cooperation.”

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