The three North American leaders met in Mexico City this week, pledging more cooperation on increased migration in the region, energy policies, and trade disputes. It was a hefty agenda for the first visit to Mexico by a U.S. president since 2014, but the trip was an important effort to thaw an icy relationship with a key trading partner.
It’s a relief seeing the three leaders together at the North American Leaders’ Summit this week after nearly two years of politically fraught relations between President Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The Mexican leader refused to acknowledge Biden’s election victory for about five weeks. Then last year, he boycotted the Summit of the Americas, hosted by the U.S., because Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela were not invited. However, leaders in the U.S. and Mexico warmly celebrated the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations in December.
The “Three Amigos” summit, as this week’s meeting, is informally called, helped cement the relationship among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico at a critical time of rising economic and political instability in the Americas. Notably, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden, and López Obrador issued a joint statement denouncing the anti-democratic attacks in Haiti.
The three countries have been formal trading partners since the enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, creating an economic powerhouse that represents about one-third of the global GDP. The United States traded more than $3 million per minute in goods with Mexico and Canada in the first 10 months of 2022. The countries also share problems that are so immense they are best solved by working together.
Migration tops the list of concerns. Global migration is at its highest level ever, with almost 2.4 million migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2022. Biden faces increasing political pressure to secure the U.S.-Mexico border but also to treat migrants humanely. Last week, he announced the expansion of Title 42, a Trump-era health emergency order, to help control the border by deporting migrants. He also announced a U.S. work permit program for up to 30,000 migrants each month from Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba, countries from which the majority of migrants are currently coming and which do not readily accept deportations.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
Leave a Comment