Today, the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) will be taking place at the White House, but there will be no press conference. A clear departure from keeping with a tradition at the eight previous North American Leaders’ Summits.

At the Canadian embassy tonight, Trudeau will be giving his own press conference following the talks at the White House. At the White House, no explanation has been offered as to why Biden won’t hold a joint presser.

Canada and the United States share the largest trading relationship in the world. The two countries also share the longest and most secure border in the world, over which $2 billion worth of goods and services cross daily. 

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing NAFTA, has been in place since July 1, 2020. 

Things you have to know

  • Canada hosted the last North American Leaders’ Summit in June 2016 when Justin Trudeau welcomed Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Neto in Ottawa. 
  • Trudeau was first elected in 2015 with a majority government. He was reelected in 2019, but with a minority government losing the popular vote to the Conservatives. In the September 2021 election, he once again failed to gain a majority government. 
  • Lopez Obrador has been serving as Mexico’s president since December 2018. Per the Mexican Constitution, he is limited to a six-year term. 
  • According to Ottawa, the Prime Minister and President Biden spoke four times by telephone since last November’s election: 
  • On Nov. 9, 2020, Trudeau phoned Biden, congratulating him on his electoral victory; 
  • On Jan. 22, 2021, Biden spoke with Trudeau – his first call to a foreign leader as President; 
  • On Apr. 21, 2021, they spoke regarding preparations for the April Leaders’ Summit on Climate; 
  • On Sept. 21, 2021, Biden phoned Trudeau to congratulate him on the Liberal Party’s electoral victory. 

Biden and Trudeau had three virtual meetings

  • On Feb. 19, during a virtual meeting of the G7 leaders;
  • On Feb. 23, 2021, where they approved a ‘Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership’
  • on Aug. 24, 2021, where the G7 leaders discussed the situation in Afghanistan. 

Trudeau and Lopez meet in-person for the first time

  • Biden and Trudeau attended in-person meetings at the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK last June and at COP26 in Glasgow.
  • Today’s meeting between Trudeau and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will be their first in-person meeting.
  • They have spoken four times by phone: Sept. 2018, June 15 and July 6, 2020 and Oct. 7, 2021.

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