Justin Trudeau first leader to talk to U.S. president-elect Joe Biden
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the first international leader to have personally congratulated Joe Biden on being elected U.S. president, his office said Monday as it summarized a conversation about areas of co-operation, and potential contention.
The telephone call took place even as Donald Trump refused to concede, making unfounded allegations of electoral fraud. Trudeau had already issued a statement congratulating Biden, who will be sworn in as president at an inauguration ceremony Jan. 20, soon after media outlets declared him the winner Saturday.
The prime minister and Biden discussed a variety of topics, including COVID-19, climate change, the need to fight anti-Black racism and China's detention of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office after the call.
The statement also says Trudeau raised several issues that have challenged the Canada-U. S. relationship, including the softwood lumber dispute, U.S. protectionism and the Keystone XL pipeline, which Biden has suggested he wants cancelled.
Earlier Monday, Trudeau stressed Ottawa would stand up for Canadian jobs and interests if the new administration sought to erect barriers to trade between the two countries.
During a news conference announcing federal funds to expand high-speed internet across Canada, the prime minister sidestepped questions about Trump's allegations of electoral fraud. Trudeau said he has ``confidence in the American electoral process as it has unfolded.''