In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. earlier this week, the president said recession is not a time for renegotiation.
"I think there are a lot of sensitivities right now because of the huge decline in world trade," he said. "But what I've also said is that Canada is one of our most important trading partners, we rely on them heavily, there's $1.5 billion worth of trade going back and forth every day between the two countries and that it is not in anybody's interest to see that trade diminish."
Obama and Harper announced a "clean energy dialogue" to collaborate on science and technologies to reduce greenhouse gases. They also pledged to cooperate more on environmental protection and energy security and to work together in Afghanistan, where the president recently authorized the deployment of 17,000 additional troops to fight the insurgency.
The president also, once again, reiterated the importance of the "most sweeping economic recovery plan" he signed this week. And on the concern about the "Buy America" provision in the package, the president assured the prime minister: "I want to grow trade and not contract it. And I don't think that there was anything in the recovery package that is adverse to that goal."
The president's trip was not all work. He found some time to go souvenir shopping and was even gifted with an "Obamatail," a special version of a deep-fried Canadian pastry called BeaverTail created last month in the new U.S. president's honor.