HomePoliticsBiden Aims To Revitalize Ties With Mexico, Canada At Trilateral Summit

Biden Aims To Revitalize Ties With Mexico, Canada At Trilateral Summit

WASHINGTON:U.S. President Joe Biden hosted Canadian and Mexican leaders at the White House on Thursday for their first North American summit in five years, a meeting aimed at revitalizing regional cooperation but shadowed by economic tensions.

Biden met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and was then due to sit down with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, followed by a gathering of all three. The talks are aimed at finding common ground among the three neighbors bound together by the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement, which governs some $1.5 trillion in North American trade annually.

But differences over the auto industry, “Buy American” policies and a Mexican energy bill weighed on the summit.

While major breakthroughs could be hard to come by, Biden hopes to make headway on some of the thorniest challenges with America’s two biggest neighbors, including easing immigration pressures, reducing trade friction, recovering from the global pandemic and competing better with China. Among the tangible gains expected from the North American Leaders’ Summit are agreements on new methane curbs and COVID-19 vaccine donations, according to senior Biden administration officials. The deals stem from a push by Biden to revive the so-called Three Amigos, a working group ditched by his predecessor Donald Trump. Resetting ties with Mexico and Canada is also part of Biden’s effort to turn the page on the Trump era, shifting away from his predecessor’s strident go-it-alone approach to a more collaborative style. Trump had especially fraught dealings with Trudeau, imposing tariffs on some Canadian goods and sometimes hurling public insults at the Canadian premier. Lopez Obrador, a left-wing populist, was able to forge an unlikely working relationship with Trump despite the Republican president’s economic threats and insults against Mexicans over migration. Nearly 10 months after taking office, Biden could use a diplomatic bright spot. He faces sagging public approval ratings and is trying to tamp down inflation and supply chain issues while grappling with record numbers of migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.


The U.S. officials expect the three North American countries to agree to cut methane emissions in their oil-and-gas sectors by 60% to 75% by 2030, as the countries work to curb the potent greenhouse gas. Canada and Mexico will also announce they are donating millions of doses of the vaccines – initially loaned to them by the United States – to other countries, one of the officials who declined to be named said. In addition, the leaders are set to commit to prohibiting the import of goods made with forced labor, a policy the administration has been aiming at China. Activists and Western politicians accuse China of using forced labor in its northwestern Xinjiang province, an allegation Beijing denies. But Canada and Mexico are worried about Biden’s “Buy American” provisions and a proposed electric-vehicle tax credit that would favor unionized, U.S.-based manufacturers.

“We’re going to talk about that,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question as he sat down for talks with Trudeau. “It hasn’t even passed yet through the House … There’s a lot of complicated factors.”

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers could vote on Thursday on Biden’s sweeping “Build Back Better” legislation, which contains the electric vehicle tax credit.

Canada says the tax credit would violate USMCA rules. The White House insisted on Thursday that it does not. But Biden’s social spending and climate bill being considered in Congress includes up to $12,500 in tax credits for U.S.-made EVs, including a $4,500 credit for union-made vehicles.

Before meeting Biden, Trudeau and Lopez Obrador met separately. After their talks, Mexico’s foreign ministry said the two countries will seek more inclusive economic integration in the framework of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal. The United States is Mexico’s and Canada’s top trade partner, and cars and trucks are the most-traded manufactured product between the three. Canada and Mexico want a level playing field as they compete to lure companies to set up plants for the EV supply chain.

(Additional reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Daniel Wallis)

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.

Source link



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments