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    Obama Welcomes Trudeau With Focus on Climate, Trade

    Obama Welcomes Trudeau with Focus on Climate, Tradei
    X
    March 10, 2016 7:09 PM
    Amid a sea of American and Canadian flags, and cheers of "oh my gosh," President Barack Obama welcomed fellow progressive leader Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House Thursday for the first such state visit in nearly two decades.
    Aru Pande

    U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed fellow progressive leader Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House Thursday for the first such state visit in nearly two decades.

    "We're woven together so deeply as societies, as economies, that it's sometimes easy to forget how truly remarkable our relationship is,'' Obama said during a joint news conference with Trudeau.

    During an arrival ceremony earlier in the day, Obama highlighted shared values noting universal health care, freedom of religion and the diversity in both nations.

    "As NATO allies we stand united against terrorism, and for the rights of nations like Ukraine to determine their own destiny. As leaders at the United Nations, we stand up for peace and security and the human rights of all people," the American president said.

    On the White House South Lawn, a crowd cheered as Obama and Trudeau shook hands with onlookers, some gushing "oh my gosh."
     
    WATCH: Video clip of Arrival Ceremony at White House

    Obama Trudeau White House Visiti
    X
    March 10, 2016 4:15 PM
    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and his wife Sophie Gregoire, on the Truman Balcony during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, March 10, 2016.

    Similar focus

    In Canada's new, dynamic prime minister, many see a younger Obama.

    Like the U.S. president, 44-year old Trudeau campaigned on a similar message of hope and change. His Liberal Party swept Canada's parliamentary election last October, unseating Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party, who had been in power since 2006.

    "Mr. Prime Minister, your election and the first few months in office have brought a new energy and dynamism not only to Canada, but to the relationship between our nations. We have a common outlook on the world. And I have to say, I have never seen so many Americans so excited about the visit of a Canadian prime minister," Obama joked.

    President Barack Obama meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, March 10, 2016, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
    President Barack Obama meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, March 10, 2016, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

    Allies amid contentious US election

    The two leaders focused on fighting climate change, boosting trade and fighting the Islamic State militant group during talks Thursday in the Oval Office, before holding a news conference in the Rose Garden that centered mostly on the state of U.S. politics in this presidential election year.

    When asked about the potential effect on the U.S.-Canada relationship, should Republican candidate Donald Trump be elected American president, the Canadian prime minister, whom some call the "anti-Trump," spoke broadly.

    "The friendship between our two countries goes far beyond any two individuals or any ideologies," Trudeau noted. "I have tremendous confidence in the American people and look forward to working with whomever they choose to send to this White House later this year."

    As Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States, the new Canadian leader was seen personally greeting Syrian refugees at the Toronto airport with the words "Welcome home, you are home." Canada has accepted 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country.

    For his part, Obama noted that Trump's positions on immigration and other issues are not much different from other Republican candidates, but the president said Trump is just more provocative in his remarks.

    "What you're seeing within the Republican Party is, to some degree, all those efforts, over a course of time, creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive. You know, he's just doing more of what has been done for the last seven and a-half years," Obama noted.

    Arrival ceremony in honor of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is in Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama, March 10, 2016. (A. Pande / VOA)
    Arrival ceremony in honor of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is in Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama, March 10, 2016. (A. Pande / VOA)

    Tackling climate change

    Obama and Trudeau also announced greater cooperation on fighting climate change.

    The neighboring countries committed to cutting methane gas emissions by 40 percent to 45 percent below 2012 levels over the coming decade, preserving more land and marine areas of the Arctic, and speeding development of green technologies.

    "We will take ambitious action to reduce methane emissions nearly by half from the oil and gas sector, reduce use and emissions of hydro fluorocarbon, and implement aligned greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles amongst other plans to fight climate change," Trudeau told reporters.

    Both leaders also vowed to implement last year's international climate control pact that was agreed to in Paris, and to sign it as soon as it is feasible.

    "As the first U.S. president to visit the Arctic, I saw how both of our nations are threatened by rising seas, melting permafrost, disappearing glaciers and sea ice, and so we are focusing on making sure the Paris agreement is fully implemented and we are working to double our investments in clean energy research and development," said Obama.

    Trudeau's White House visit marks an end to recent, occasionally frosty relations between Washington and Ottawa.

    Former Canadian leader Harper fumed over Obama's years-long delay in acting on the Canadian proposal to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canadian oil fields through the central U.S. to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. Shortly after Trudeau took office, Obama rejected it last November.

    The 44-year-old Trudeau's liberal political views, however, are more attuned to Obama's than the conservative Harper. The new Canadian leader, the son of late prime minister Pierre Trudeau, is hoping to strengthen ties with the visit.

    Canada is the United States' largest trading partner, with about 75 percent of its exports headed across its southern border to the U.S. More than $2 billion worth of goods from the two countries combined cross their border every day.

    Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are hosting the 10th state dinner of his presidency with this one for the Trudeaus - the first for a Canadian head of government since 1997.

    VOA's Ken Bredemeier contributed to this report.

    In Photos: Canadian PM Visits Washington

    • U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, March 10, 2016.
    • President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wave with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and his wife Sophie Gregoire, on the Truman Balcony during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, March 10, 2016.
    • President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stand for the playing of national anthems during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, March 10, 2016.
    • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens as President Barack Obama speaks during an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, March 10, 2016.
    • Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Barack Obama greet visitors as they take part in a welcome ceremony during a State Visit on the South Lawn of the White House on March 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.
    • Canadian First Lady Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and US First Lady Michell Obama watch, as US President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a welcome ceremony, March 10, 2016.
    • Arrival ceremony in honor of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is in Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama, March 10, 2016. (A. Pande / VOA)
    • Crowded White House lawn during arrival ceremony in honor of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is in Washington for meetings with President Barack Obama, March 10, 2016. (A. Pande / VOA)
    • A boy in the audience holds Canadian and American flags before President Barack Obama greets Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, March 10, 2016.
    • Members of the audience gather on the South Lawn before President Barack Obama greets Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, March 10, 2016.
    • President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin shake hands following the conclusion of their joint news conference, March 10, 2016, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.

     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Obie from: USA
    March 12, 2016 8:49 AM
    Two nations with foolish youths deceived and indoctrinated with "professor" left wing socialist lies.
    Bringing our once great nations slowly but surely to a third world economy.
    You young parasites need to earn your own wealth. It's a concept called hard WORK !
    You also need to quit listening to your government funded lying teachers and professors.
    You probably won't listen to me. It's probably too late anyhow.

    Know this, future generations will study the collapse of this once great nation.

    You and your failed liberal professors will be at the top of the list as one of the main causes of the oncoming disaster.
    So go enjoy your plunder with what little time you have left.

    In fact, China and Putin already have plans for your future. That's if you survive the volley of H-bombs.

    by: disappointed public
    March 10, 2016 1:23 PM
    And these 2 friends together will continue ordering millions of Russian-speaking children in Ukraine to pretend how much they love to study in Ukrainian. To pretend how beautiful Ukrainian village dialect is and how much they love to study Mathematics in the dialect of the village pig-sty. It is a cultural rape targeted at millions of people and it must be stopped. Only when every child in Ukraine is given the opportunity of bilingualism and bilingual education, these speeches can look decent. Otherwise, it is just destruction of Ukraine and raping the whole population with a village pig-sty dialect sponsored and selected by the United States for Ukraine.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 10, 2016 11:13 AM
    How about discussing how Canada allows unvetted migrants to enter some of whom would like to execute terrorist attacks on the US and see Canada as a convenient gateway to get here? Maybe we need two walls, one in the north and one in the south.
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 13, 2016 1:57 PM
    I can't tell you how happy I was when the Keystone pipeline project was rejected. Canada, you want that filthy tar sand oil piped to a port city? Build your pipeline to Vancouver. We already have enough oil pipelines and oils spills in America.

    From what I'm reading, America may have to send humanitarian food shipments to Canada so it doesn't starve. I never realized Canada was a petro-state relying largely on oil exports for income.

    From what I can tell, Americans rarely even think about Canada although we are aware that it exists. On the other hand, Canadians seem obsessed with the US. Don't you people have anything else to think about? Oh yeah, ice hockey.
    In Response

    by: K. Bayquoi from: Montreal
    March 11, 2016 9:41 AM
    Marcus, you really need to come back down out of your fantasy world. As for building a wall, as an American living in Canada, I would welcome it. Only because it would help keep out those bigoted, gun toting Americans from entering Canada. I can no longer return to America, solely for the reason I can not afford to give up the very good and FREE health care system here, which I have had to use many times and never cost me a dime.
    In Response

    by: CanadianAmerican
    March 11, 2016 9:24 AM
    Frank King - the event you quoted was a lone incident on December 14, 1999 and it was dealt judiciously without compromising the freedom and liberty of Canadians and Americans. Seem like you are amplifying and ever-greening it it to peddle hatred.
    In Response

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    March 11, 2016 6:49 AM
    Unfortunately Frank King, Marcus is correct.

    "When Ahmed Ressam was caught at the Canadian-U.S. border, he was using a false Canadian passport with the alias Benni Noris. He was carrying fake identification with another alias. And investigators soon discovered he had entered Canada using yet another fake passport, from France. He had also manipulated Canada's asylum system by applying for political asylum at the border, knowing that the Canadian authorities would refer his case to another agency and let him stay in Canada while he waited for his asylum hearing."
    In Response

    by: Frank King from: Canada
    March 10, 2016 12:35 PM
    What a load of inaccurate, propaganda CRAP.

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