US President Joe Biden has attended the first bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Both leaders talked about mutual policy priorities around climate change and China. They also exchanged opinions on the release of two Canadians held captive there.
Mr. Biden said on Tuesday, “Human beings are not bartering chips.”
Chinese detention of two Canadians is a major issue for discussion. Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were accused of spying and held in jail in 2018. They were indicted in June 2020.
According to the international news agency, Canada alleges that they were detained as retribution for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.
During the meeting, Mr. Biden said, “Human beings are not bartering chips. We’re going to work together until we get their safe return.”
Moreover, Justin Trudeau criticized the Trump administration during the meeting. He also thanked Mr. Biden for “stepping up.”
He said, “As we are preparing the joint rollout and communique… it’s nice when the Americans aren’t pulling out all references to climate change.”
Biden later said that Canada and the US would “work in lockstep to display the seriousness of our commitment [to climate change] both at home and abroad”.