On Friday, President Joe Biden defended his handling of the banking crisis, saying he had done a “good *** job” and dismissed Wall Street concerns about the stability of the financial system.
In a press conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden also warned that some allies are “grossly overstating” the threat of Russia and China forming an alliance.
The President closed his day of meetings and speeches in Ottawa with a press conference where he answered questions about the US economy and threats on the world stage.
He made his first visit to Canada as president, to urge Canadians to increase defense spending and struck a deal with Trudeau on a crackdown on migration at the northern border.
President Joe Biden has defended his handling of the banking crisis
But when asked about anxiety in US financial markets, Biden joked: “Have you ever known Wall Street without dismay?”
“I think we did a damn good job. People’s savings are safe,’ Biden said. “I think it’s going to take a while for things to calm down, but I don’t see anything on the horizon that’s about to explode.”
The failures of Silicon Valley Bank of California and Signature Bank of New York, the second and third largest banks in the country, involved hundreds of billions of dollars.
Last week, Biden expressed confidence that the worst of the turmoil in the US banking system was over. And he swore that taxpayers would not be required to pay for failures.
The president touched on other topics during his press conference, including concerns about shifting alliances around the world.
He said he “does not take lightly” the prospect of a growing alliance between China and Russia.
“I don’t take China lightly. I don’t take Russia lightly. But I think we vastly overestimate it,” the president said.
But he pointed to the strong alliances the United States formed when it came to defending Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion.
“The West has coalesced, much more… We have united coalitions,” he said. “I haven’t seen that happen with China and Russia or anyone else in the world. We are in a situation – the United States – where NATO is stronger. We are all together.
Biden also pointed out that despite reports that Beijing was going to sell weapons to Moscow, he hadn’t done so yet, which he seemed to see as a promising sign.
To emphasize his point, he lowered his voice to a whisper to say, “They haven’t done it yet.”
He admitted the two countries could still unite, which would make things “much worse”.
President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during their press conference
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a meeting in the Kremlin earlier this month
Chinese President Jinping Xi paid a three-day visit to Moscow, where he called Vladimir Putin a “dear friend” and called for a ceasefire in Ukraine that would reward Moscow’s invasion by consolidating territorial gains .
The Biden administration rejected such a plan.
Also on the trip, Biden and Trudeau announced an agreement to close Roxham Road, a mass migration point on the northern border, and Canada, in return, will grant 15,000 slots for migrants from the Western Hemisphere to enter legally.
“I applaud Canada for stepping up similar programs, opening up new legal avenues for 1,500 migrants to come to Canada from countries in the Western Hemisphere at one time,” Biden said in a speech to parliament earlier Friday.
Both the United States and Canada have seen an increase in migration across the northern border.
More than 39,000 refugees entered Canada last year through unofficial crossings, the vast majority via Roxham Road, which connects Quebec and New York State.
At issue was a loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement, which requires asylum seekers already in the United States to apply there rather than present themselves at a Canadian port of entry.
But this policy does not apply to Roxham Road as it is an unauthorized entry point – literally a road that ends at the dead end border and then resumes on the other side.
Workers prepare to close the Roxham Road level crossing between New York and Canada
Trudeau said last month the only way to close Roxham Road was to renegotiate the Safe Third Country Agreement. And that’s what both countries did.
“We couldn’t just close Roxham Road and hope it would all work out because we would have gotten into trouble,” the Prime Minister said at the press conference.
“The border is very long – people would have looked for other places to cross. That is why we have chosen to modernize the safe third country agreement.