Biden, however, offered no hints about how the White House might help secure their release, such as by abandoning Justice Department efforts to extradite her to stand trial on USA soil.
They were swept up more than two years ago in an apparent act of retaliation for Canada agreeing to arrest and detain Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to await extradition south of the border, where she's accused of violating US sanctions on Iran.
"Human beings are not bartering chips", the president said of Kovrig and Spavor during closing remarks from the East Room of the White House. "Canada and the United States will stand together against abuse of universal rights and democratic freedoms".
Trudeau thanked Biden - calling him "Joe" - as he emphasized the USA and Canada are "each other's closest allies, most important trading partners and oldest friends". "I look forward to my meeting with President Biden, where we will work together to end the COVID-19 pandemic and support people in both our countries".
However, the meeting will occur virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the neighboring states to build on their common values from afar instead of in person, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters on the eve of Biden's first bilateral event as president. Prime Minister Trudeau also spoke to Vice President Kamala Harris on February 1, 2021.
"Of course, the prime minister will bring up whatever he would like to bring up, as is true of any bilateral meeting".
Earlier this month, Canada's Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, told CBC News that Biden's approach to foreign policy could result in new momentum to free the so-called "Two Michaels." "That's why you were my first call as president (and) my first bilateral meeting", he said.
"Thank you again for stepping up in such a big way on tackling climate change - USA leadership has been sorely missed over the past years", he said.
"U.S. leadership has been sorely missed over the past years", he said.
Biden's election hasn't meant an immediate return to stable relations.
Last Tuesday, Canadian members of Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of creating a special committee to focus on the economic relationship between Canada and the U.S. "To that end, we're launching a high-level climate ambition ministerial to align our policies and our goals and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050", New York Post reported Biden's goal which he previously stated in his presidential campaign.
Quote "Canada and the United States have an extraordinary relationship that transcends geographic borders". In 2019, a viral video surfaced in which the Canadian prime minister and other world leaders were overheard having a laugh at Trump's expense during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit.
Strenuous expressions of presidential dismay were nowhere to be seen during the final two years of Donald Trump's tenure as Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor languished behind bars.
That's not to say there won't be areas of disagreement.
Nor did either leader mention Keystone XL, the on-again, off-again cross-border oil pipeline expansion Biden cancelled with the stroke of his presidential pen on his first day in office.
Biden rescinded the permit by executive order on his first day in office.