Canadian PM Trudeau ‘disappointed’ with Biden’s decision on first day

Katie Ramirez
January 23, 2021

Trudeau, who has been keen to embrace the new president and move on from the often tumultuous Donald Trump years, was the first foreign leader to speak with Biden since Wednesday's inauguration.

Kenney has called for Canada to introduce economic sanctions against the US if Biden will not reconsider his decision. Psaki told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Friday that Biden is "not going to take tools off the table" as he looks to bring Republicans to the table, and she argued that the back-and-forth is "exactly how it should work".

"Failing an agreement with the American government, we call on the government of Canada to respond with consequences for this attack on Canada's largest industry", Kenney said Thursday.

Trudeau said he previously spoke to Biden about the pipeline. The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that LNG exports will continue to grow to an average of 8.5 bcf/d in 2021, he said. "And so many are hanging by a thread, they need help, and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide that help as quickly as possible", said Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council. Environmental activists have largely opposed the pipeline's construction.

"I feel our prime minister's too spineless for that... he's a meek individual who I really question his quality in leading our country", he said.

Trudeau, however, insisted Canada had done everything it could to change his mind, and called on the premiers to take the same united, "Team Canada" approach they did with Biden's predecessor.

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As word emerged this week of the project's imminent demise, Calgary-based owner TC Energy revealed plans to spend US$1.7 billion on a solar, wind and battery-powered operating system for the pipeline to ensure it achieves net-zero emissions by 2030.

Kenney says Wednesday's decision came "without even giving Canada a chance to communicate", although Hillman insists she has been in near-constant discussions with the Biden team ever since May, when they promised to cancel the project.

While Trudeau welcomed that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris Agreement, revoking the permit will cost Canadian jobs, Trudeau said.

Trudeau urged Biden to remove duties against Canadian exports of softwood lumber, which US industry has long protested are excessively subsidized.

Mr Biden was last night due to make his first phone calls as president to fellow leaders, with the first being Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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