Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said making it easier for goods and people to travel across borders as well as coming up with environmental and energy policies will be the top items on the agenda when he meets his Mexican and American counterparts at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa today.
“The outcome of today’s discussions will improve the lives of Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans across the continent,” Trudeau said in a written statement. “We will streamline the flow of legitimate goods and trusted travelers across our borders, promote cleaner air and waterways, and work toward a competitive, low-carbon and sustainable North American economy that creates good, middle-class jobs for our citizens.”
The Canadian prime minister is scheduled to meet U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto today. They will be holding joint news conference at 3 p.m. ET. Obama will address the Parliament after 4:15 p.m. ET.
During the summit, Trudeau, Peña Nieto and Obama, also now referred to as “the three amigos,” will discuss “the opportunity for North America to become the world’s most competitive player in the clean growth economy – and the potential to create the jobs of today and tomorrow,” according to a release from the Prime Minister’s office.
- The North America region has a combined population of almost 530 million and an economy that represents more than one-quarter of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
- The three countries are among each other’s largest trading partners and sources of foreign investment. In 2015, North American trilateral merchandise trade amounted to US$1 trillion, and our combined GDP has more than doubled over the past two decades, rising from US$8 trillion (in 1993) to $US20.6 trillion today.
- The three leaders will pledge to increase trilateral defence cooperation, expand their roles in UN peace operations, collaborate more on global public health needs, and work together to address climate change. To encourage clean growth, they will commit to driving down short-lived climate pollutants and advance clean and secure energy – with the goal of 50 per cent clean power generation across the continent by 2025.
On Tuesday, Trudeau and Peña Nieto dealt with long-standing trade and travel irritants between Canada and Mexico.
Trudeau said Canada will lift its visa requirements for Mexican visitors before 2017.
For its part, Mexico will end its restriction on Canadian beef imports.
The three leaders’ meeting comes at a time when protectionism is seemingly on the rise.
Days earlier, Britons voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. Just a day ago, presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump blamed the 20-eyar-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
Security is also expected to figure prominently during the meeting following this week’s deadly attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport where 41 people were killed and 239 people were injured when three gunmen detonated bombs and fired automatic weapons into the crowd.