Awkward conversations for the US, during “Three Amigos” Summit (Opinion)

If Joe Biden was looking for respite from the tricky global challenges he has faced in recent months, he may not find harmony closer to home. The leaders of the US, Canada, and Mexico meet on Thursday in Washington, with plenty of differences to resolve.

BBC correspondents in Toronto, New York and Mexico City give their perspectives on the so-called Three Amigos summit.

Canada

By Jessica Murphy, Toronto

There may be less drama in this relationship since Mr Biden took office but it hasn’t been smooth sailing and there are rough seas on the horizon.

One observer has said what was once a strategic partnership has become a “largely transactional” relationship.

A big bone of contention is Mr Biden’s embrace of “Buy American” which has become central to his trade agenda.

Critics argue such protectionist policies would increase the costs of goods to consumers and potentially shut out Canadian companies from lucrative US contracts. Alarm bells are ringing “a little louder right now for me”, Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, told the BBC.

One of his top concerns is a proposed tax credit for US-produced electric vehicles which could have implications for the burgeoning electric vehicles sector. Mr Volpe expects both Canada and Mexico to file a dispute under the USMCA trade agreement if the issue is not resolved.

Other areas of conflict include the Line 5 oil pipeline that runs between Canada and Michigan, which the US state has threatened to shut down, and an ongoing dispute over softwood lumber.

Canadian and US leaders have been so busy dealing with domestic concerns since Mr Biden came into office that the relationship has been put on the backburner, says Maryscott Greenwood of the Canadian American Business Council.

When Mr Trump was there, Canada dedicated significant time to making sure its interests were heard especially over trade.

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The Yucatan Times



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