Home Headlines North American leaders prioritize the strengthening of economic ties between the three countries 

North American leaders prioritize the strengthening of economic ties between the three countries 

by Yucatan Times
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North American leaders aim to give new impetus to strengthening economic ties at a meeting this week, even as a major dispute grinds on over Mexico’s energy policies which has distracted from cooperation on other issues like immigration.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will host his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for talks in Mexico City from Monday through Wednesday, the first summit between the three since late 2021.

“A meeting like this is so that we keep moving forward on economic integration,” Lopez Obrador said this week.

Still, Mexico remains mired in an energy dispute with the United States and Canada, who argue their firms have been disadvantaged by Lopez Obrador’s campaign to give control of the market to his cash-strapped state energy companies.

A combative leftist, Lopez Obrador says his policy is a matter of national sovereignty, on the grounds that past governments skewed the energy market to favor private interests.

Washington and Ottawa believe his actions breach the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, and have launched dispute resolution proceedings against Mexico, souring the mood for cooperation over jobs and investment.

Trudeau told Reuters on Friday he would make the case that resolving the energy dispute would help bring more foreign investment to Mexico, and was confident of making progress.

Others argue the time for negotiation is over.

Aindriu Colgan, director of tax and trade policy at the American Petroleum Institute – whose members include ExxonMobil and Chevron – said it was time to call a dispute panel because “Mexico is blatantly violating the USMCA.”

Ahead of the summit, officials have publicly stressed North America’s shared economic interests, while privately tempering prospects for a major breakthrough on the energy spat.

“They will do their utmost to make it appear a happy gathering,” said Andres Rozental, a former Mexican deputy foreign minister. “As long as Lopez Obrador keeps migrants out of the border area, Biden will be happy.”

TYT Newsroom

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