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Biden, Trudeau united against authoritarian regimes

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to stand together against autocratic governments during Biden’s visit to Canada.

March 25, 2023
By Andrea Shalal and Steve Scherer
25 March 2023

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have presented a united front against authoritarian regimes as Biden visits 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.

At a news conference with Trudeau on Friday, Biden questioned the level of China and Russia’s co-operation, noting that China had not provided weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine.

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

“We have significantly expanded our alliances,” Biden said.

“Tell me how in fact you see a circumstance where China has made a significant commitment to Russia. What commitment can they make?”

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.

“Today we reaffirmed our steadfast support for the Ukrainian people as they defend themselves against Putin’s brutal and barbaric invasion,” Trudeau said.

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

The US Defense Production Act would give $US250 million ($A376 million), Biden said.

The two countries also agreed on an energy transformation task force focusing on clean power and vowed to co-operate on a “North American critical minerals supply chain”.

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

“The United States and Canada will work together to discourage unlawful border crossings and fully implement the updated Safe Third Country Agreement,” Biden said of the deal.

Canada agreed to take in 1500 migrants from countries in the “western hemisphere” as part of the deal.

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