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VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER MELONI TO THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

In the context of the Italian Presidency of the G7 for 2024, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will be visiting Washington on March 1st and Toronto on March 2nd, where she will meet with President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau respectively. The visit follows her visit to Japan in early February and the first G7 leaders’ meeting under the Italian Presidency, which took place via video conference from Kyiv on February 24th.

The primary objective is to share with President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau (Canada will take over in 2025) the priorities of Italy’s G7 Presidency: Defending the international system based on the rule of law and continuous support for Ukraine; the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences on the global agenda; priority attention to Africa, with the aim of building a partnership model beneficial to all; continued focus on the Indo-Pacific region; the importance of migration issues; and artificial intelligence.

In both cases, the agenda will also focus on the excellent bilateral relations in all sectors between Italy and the United States, and between Italy and Canada, as well as the prospects for further strengthening them.

With regard to the meeting with President Biden, the focus will be particularly on continuing to build bilateral relations based on the Joint Statement adopted by the two leaders during Prime Minister Meloni’s first visit to Washington since the beginning of her term, on July 27th last year.

The meeting with Trudeau will also provide further impetus to the already significant relations between the two nations. Canada and Italy already have strong trade and investment relations, with complementary economies leveraging the strength of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Both meetings will also provide an opportunity to discuss key international issues: First and foremost, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and continued support for Kyiv; the situation in the Middle East and preventing regional escalation, humanitarian support for Gaza, and security and stability in the Red Sea; cooperation with the African continent and the Mattei Plan, with a view to exploring opportunities for collaboration in areas of common interest; supply chain security; transatlantic coordination regarding challenges and opportunities posed by China; and preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit, to be held in Washington on July 9th-11th, marking the 75th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance.

In the United States, there is a sizable and well-integrated Italian-American community (more than 20 million), in addition to over 325,000 Italian citizens residing in the country. In 2023, the United States was the third-largest destination market for Italian exports, with trade totaling around $102 billion (with a $44 billion surplus in favor of Italy), and the presence of Italian companies in every economic-industrial sector, including defense and aerospace.

Canada is an important partner for Italy (approximately 12 billion euros in trade between January and November 2023, up 1.1% from the previous year). The trade balance favors Italy (+4.2 billion in the first 11 months of 2023), and there is a high level of complementarity (manufacturing specialization and innovation in Italy and abundant raw materials in Canada). The role of the Italian-origin community is significant (approximately 1.6 million, half of whom reside in Ontario, the province of which Toronto is a part).