Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in the United States on Thursday to discuss various issues. Trudeau met with President Obama and there will be a state dinner in his honor.
This marks the first official Canadian Prime Minister visit in 19 years. President Obama had issued the invitation after Trudeau won his election in October 2015.
Trudeau and President Obama announced a plan to cut Canadian-American methane emissions by 40 to 45% from 2012 levels by 2025. Methane emissions in Canada and the United States have skyrocketed over the past few years as a result of fracking. “The climate relationship with Canada really just ramped up dramatically quickly,” Todd Stern, a climate representative from the Obama Administration, said. Trudeau and Obama do disagree on the issue of the Keystone XL pipeline though with Trudeau working for its approval.
Other issues discussed between the two were ISIS and border security. Trudeau pledged to send more fighters in the war against ISIS in February.
Obama was quoted as saying “new energy and dynamism not only to Canada, but to the relationship between our nations” along with saying the US and Canada were “blessed to be neighbors”.
Trudeau called Obama “my friend Barack” and said that the President was “a man of both tremendous heart and tremendous intellect.”
Obama and Trudeau are similar in policy positions and on the ideological spectrum. Canadian-American relations strained under conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. There were reports that Harper preferred then-Senator Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primary.