U.S. President Barack Obama met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday morning at the White House, the first official visit for a Canadian prime minister in 19 years. The two leaders held a joint press conference, discussing an array of issues from climate change to Syrian refugees.
Obama emphasized the two countries’ shared values, and Trudeau commented on how Canada and the United States share the common goal of tackling climate change.
“We haven’t always conveyed how much we treasure our alliance,” Obama said in his opening remarks.
— Department of State (@StateDept) March 10, 2016
The leaders told reporters at the press conference that their wide-ranging talks focused on trade and border security issues, but they also announced an agreement to reduce methane emissions, with a goal of taking them below 2012 levels and lessen them by as much as 45 percent.
Trudeau added that he and Obama understand the importance of trade between their nations, and said the two countries have agreed to make their border “both more open and secure,” with an agreement that would facilitate pre-cleared travelers’ movement through certain airports and train stations, CNN reported. The two countries also plan to establish a working group within 60 days to address the issue of errors of identity on the no-fly list, according to Trudeau.
“Today we recommitted to streamlining trade between our two countries,” Trudeau said.
The two leaders appeared friendly with each other, joking about the warm weather and exchanging hockey barbs.
“Now, I don’t want to gloss over the very real differences between Americans and Canadians. There are some things we will probably never agree on. Whose beer is better? Who’s better at hockey?” Obama joked. “Where’s the Stanley Cup right now? I’m sorry, is it in my hometown, with the Chicago Blackhawks?”
The press conference ended on a light note with Trudeau lamenting that the one thing he would not be able to bring back with him to Canada was his “beloved Expos,” a reference to the MLB franchise that started off as the Montreal Expos but relocated to the U.S. capital and became the Washington Nationals. “You can’t get everything,” the prime minister said.