Washington, DC - President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper today discussed common approaches to accelerating economic recovery, in North America and globally.
Unprecedented fiscal stimulus in both countries has helped to stabilize demand and avert deeper levels of economic contraction and job loss, but it is important to remain vigilant. They agreed to work with other countries at the upcoming Pittsburgh Summit to lay the foundation for balanced and sustainable growth and to further the reform of financial regulations and international institutions to reflect the realities of the global economy.
The Leaders agreed that economic integration is a fundamental source of strength for both economies, that open trade and investment are essential for competitiveness and sustainable growth in North America and globally.
They expressed satisfaction with the productive ministerial dialogue put in place since the President's visit to Ottawa in February on promoting a secure and efficient border, to contribute equally to North American security and prosperity.
PROGRESS ON CLEAN ENERGY
The Prime Minister and the President reviewed progress to date on the U.S.-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue launched during President Obama's visit to Ottawa. They agreed that the report to leaders presented by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Canadian Minister of the Environment Jim Prentice represents an important path forward for pursuing our shared objectives of environmental protection and secure energy supply in a balanced and effective manner. Read the full report.
Secretary Chu and Minister Prentice also released an Action Plan for the Clean Energy Dialogue, which describes specific initiatives the United States and Canada have agreed to undertake as areas for enhanced cooperation: carbon capture and storage; clean energy research and development in biofuels, clean engines, energy efficiency; and the electricity grid and smart grid development. View the Action Plan.
With respect to climate change, they reaffirmed that given the high degree of integration between the Canadian and U.S. economies and energy markets, they should cooperate closely as they develop their respective approaches. They reiterated the urgency of taking aggressive action to combat climate change and reaffirmed their commitment towards a comprehensive and effective international agreement that puts the world on a clean energy pathway.
COOPERATION ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CHALLENGES
The Leaders reviewed developments on a number of shared foreign policy priorities, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Middle East Peace, and the Americas.
In particular, they reiterated their shared commitment to helping the Afghan government prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a base for terrorism and they restated U.S. and Canadian support for the peaceful restoration of democratic and constitutional order in Honduras and called on all parties to accept the San José Accord.
The Leaders agreed to work closely together in the coming months on the critical issue of nuclear security and non-proliferation, particularly in promoting concrete outcomes at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in April.