Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attempted to claim an ethical victory Thursday after his day at the White House and also tried to defuse an escalating continental dispute over President Joe Biden’s plans to inspire Americans to shop for more electric-powered vehicles.
The summit between Trudeau, Biden and Lopez Obrador, a trilateral amigos summit, continued in the ornate East Room of the White House.
Trudeau and many senior cabinet ministers arrived in the U.S. capital with a hope of persuading Biden that his proposed tax incentive worth up to $12,500 to a potential new-vehicle customer could smash Canada’s car industry.
Trudeau said that “In a relationship as big and as deep and as all-encompassing for so many of us, as is the relationship between Canada and the United States, there are always going to be challenges coming up”.
During their normal fireside image op in the Oval Office, Biden presented little proof he was in a conciliatory mood, providing the standard bilateral pleasantries but directly shutting down questions on the burgeoning dispute.
As the assembly persisted away from the hold of TV cameras, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was herself taking questions on Canada, insisting that the concept violates NAFTA’s continental trade successor, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The offer is a major concern for automakers of both the countries Canada and Mexico. A warning was expressed by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday warned of it becoming “the dominant issue” of the Canada-U.S. relationship.