Joe Biden arrived in Canada on Thursday for a visit that promises to be very cordial, but should not evacuate some delicate subjects, related to trade, military cooperation and Haiti.
Another source of friction seemed on the verge of being ironed out on Thursday: the question of irregular immigration arriving from the United States to Canada.
Radio Canada and the New York Times announced at the end of the day that the two countries had reached an agreement to close the main access route for migrants, located south of Montreal.
But the US president did not respond to a reporter's question on the matter as he arrived with his wife Jill Biden at the Canadian Prime Minister's residence for a private party.
Earlier, his spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre had postponed a possible confirmation of this press information until Friday.
"The United States (were) determined to work" with Canada to manage migratory flows, she said.
According to Radio Canada and the New York Times, Ottawa would agree in exchange for the closure of this makeshift access route, called "Roxham Road", to accommodate a certain number of migrants entering on a regular basis.
On Friday, the two leaders will have a working meeting, before Joe Biden addresses the Canadian Parliament.
The president will then give a joint press conference with Mr. Trudeau, before a gala dinner.
This is the first visit of its kind since that of Barack Obama in 2009.
It is customary for the American president to reserve his first trip to Canada after the inauguration. But pandemic requires, Joe Biden was content in February 2021 with a virtual "visit".
This trip marks the cordiality found between the two countries after the presidency of Donald Trump, who had a notoriously difficult relationship with Justin Trudeau.
This time, the tone will be quite different but that does not eliminate all the friction issues.
Another thorny subject could be that of defence, and more particularly the Canadian contribution to NATO and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad).
The United States and Canada are on the same wavelength when it comes to supporting Ukraine.
But Ottawa is far from devoting 2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to military spending, the threshold set for NATO member countries.
The two leaders are expected to finally talk about the situation in Haiti, which is plagued by extreme gang violence and a humanitarian crisis.
Washington would welcome Canada playing a leading role in sending an international force to the country.
For the White House, "the situation on the ground will not improve without international military assistance," said Karine Jean-Pierre, indicating that "discussions" were continuing with Canada and other countries.
Last sensitive subject on Friday's agenda: trade.
The American president, who unashamedly defends "Made in America", has adopted a pharaonic subsidy plan for the energy transition, the "Inflation Reduction Act" (IRA).
In Ottawa, we are pleased that the United States has taken Canada into account in a subsidy scheme for electric cars, "but it must not stop there", according to Canadian government sources.
03/24/2023 03:39:43 - Ottawa (AFP) - © 2023 AFP