Transcript for Biden and Trudeau meet in Ottawa
- The US and Canada reaching this new deal to reduce the surge of migrants at our northern border. The agreement comes as President Biden is meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa today. Senior national correspondent, Terry Moran, is traveling with the President. And joins me live now for more on this. Hi, Terry. How significant is this asylum deal? And what will it entail?
Hey, Diane. This is not a huge deal. But it is significant for what it stands for. Now the two North American nations really beefing up their cooperation to address what is a Western hemisphere crisis of migration from the South to the North. And for Canada, what Canada's going to get is something it's been seeking. Last year, 40,000 people, a record number, crossed the border into Canada from the United States unofficially. Along the longest undefended border in the world. 5,000 miles.
Canada got an agreement that they will be able to turn migrants back at unofficial crossing points somewhere along that border. Previously, they were allowed to turn back migrants who did not cross with the permission of law at formal crossing points. This covers the whole border. That's what Canada gets. What the US gets is Canada has agreed to take 15,000 more migrants from Central and South America. Legal migrants. And that, it is hoped would take some of the pressure off the Southern border of the United States.
What you see here are two political leaders facing increasing political pressure to address some of these border issues that both are having to deal with.
- So Terry, how are they responding to concerns about spying given that the US shot down that Chinese spy balloon last year-- last month rather, after it traveled through Canada?
- You know, Diane, I was told that Chinese spy balloon changed the dialogue for this meeting. Changed in some ways the relationship between the United States and Canada, which is very close. Usually focuses on trade. A lot of talk about friendship. The US will gently encourage Canada to increase its defense spending. The Chinese spy balloon demonstrate that the 21st century is going to have a different security agenda. And that's at the heart of this meeting between Joe Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau. What they want is increased Canadian efforts to update NORAD. That's the North American Air Defense operation, which is full of satellites, radar.
Canada had committed to spending billions of dollars to upgrade that over the course of many years. The United States wants that accelerated. Canada is interested in doing that. The US is also interested in Canada beefing up its overall security budget, its overall military budget, from about 1.2% of GDP. NATO members is supposed to hit 2%. They want Canada to get closer to that. Because the security situation has changed, no question about it, China at the forefront of that to the United States and Canada now confronting China preparing for what is a more aggressive China in the world.
- So Chinese President Xi Jinping also just met with Vladimir Putin in Russia, Terry. So what's on the agenda for Biden and Trudeau when it comes to trying to counter Russian aggression?
- Diane, that's a great point. Just the two pictures. There you had the two authoritarian leaders. The dictator of Russia and the President for life-- basically the dictator of China-- meeting together presenting a United front against the United States and its allies. The world of democracies. And so this meeting with Biden and Trudeau sends a signal that that alliance is going to beef up its partnership and its cooperation. Joe Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau, they are on the same page. Justin Trudeau. They're on the same page on Ukraine. Canada has made significant contributions to the effort to support Ukraine in facing down that Russian invasion. And that will go forward.
What you're seeing really in the past couple of weeks is once again a picture of a new security situation in the world. A new geopolitical situation where China has thrown in its lot with Russia to support that dictator in order to confront democracies like the United States and Canada. That's what this meeting is all about. Diane.
- All right. Terry Moran in Ottawa. Thank you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.