Washington: US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced the creation of a bilateral committee that will deal with the challenges posed to women in the workplace and how to increase their participation in the economy.
The two leaders participated at a White House round table with business executives and entrepreneurs within the framework of Trudeau's official visit to Washington, EFE news reported.
"In order to create economic growth and well-paying jobs we must assure the economy is a place where women can work and thrive," said Trump in brief remarks at the beginning of the round table.
Trump said that it is necessary for the US to adopt policies to keep women in the workforce, make it easier for them to both hold a job and deal with family issues and increase their access to capital.
Meanwhile, Trudeau emphasised the need to break down the "significant barriers" that continue to exist for women in the workplace and create more pathways to success.
Seated at the side of the Canadian premier was Ivanka Trump, the President's daughter who during the election campaign helped her father promote a tax plan to provide childcare and more affordable daycare centres.
Ivanka, who has a very close relationship with her father, still does not have an official title or duties within the new government.
The White House said that the bilateral Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs is a sign of both Trump and Trudeau's commitment to eliminating barriers to the economic participation of women.
After becoming Canada's Prime Minister in November 2015, Trudeau fulfilled one of his campaign promises and named an equal number of women and men to his cabinet.
Trump, on the other hand, has selected very few women or minorities for his cabinet posts.
This was the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Trump became President on January 20.
Trump is expected to discuss with Trudeau his aim to renegotiate at the earliest opportunity the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by the US, Canada and Mexico more than 20 years ago.
In Canada, both conservatives and liberals feel that NAFTA, implemented in 1994, has been a key element in their country's economic well-being by enhancing trade between Ottawa and Washington to the point where they are now the world's two top trade partners.
Meanwhile, Trudeau wants to avoid conflictual issues, including immigration or the taking in of refugees in his meeting with Trump, so that the pair may establish a good relationship as quickly as possible.
After a private luncheon, Trump and Trudeau are scheduled to hold a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House.