The trilateral meeting, often referred to as the “Three Friends Summit”, has been held for most years, although there has been a hiatus during the tenure of US President Donald Trump.
MEXICO CITY, Mexico — President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Tuesday to promote prosperity across the hemisphere as they opened wide-ranging talks on the volatile security situation in Haiti, trade in North America, political unrest in Brazil and others. on the sidelines of the North American Leaders Summit.
Biden and Trudeau met one-on-one ahead of a trilateral meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a summit in Mexico City. The warmth of the US and Canadian leaders during a brief address to reporters at the start of their talks was in stark contrast to a sharper exchange days earlier between Biden and Lopez Obrador, who complained of “abandonment” and “contempt” for Latin America.
Biden told Trudeau, “What we have to do, and we are doing, is to demonstrate the unlimited economic potential that we have when we work together in the hemisphere and help the entire hemisphere.”
All three world leaders were due to discuss migration, trade and climate change as they look to fix tensions that divided the continent.
The trilateral meeting is held most years, although there was a hiatus under US President Donald Trump. It is often called the “summit of the three friends”, referring to the deep diplomatic and economic ties between the countries.
However, the leaders found themselves at odds, especially when they were struggling to cope influx of migrants and crack down on smugglers who profit from persuading people to make the dangerous journey to the United States.
In addition, Canada and the US accuse López Obrador of violating a free trade agreement by favoring Mexico’s state utility company. power plants built by foreign and private investors. Meanwhile, Trudeau and López Abrador are concerned about Biden’s efforts to increase domestic production, raising fears that the US’s neighbors could be left behind.
At the meeting with Biden, Trudeau emphasized the benefits of free trade and cautioned against the “Buy America” policy promoted by the US administration, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. Almost 80% of Canadian exports go to the US, so avoiding protectionism remains a priority for Canada.
The main results of the summit concern the improvement of relations between the three countries and the common goal of strengthening North America in the field of energy and in particular semiconductors, the climate and the promise to reduce methane emissions, an agreement to manage the large waves of migrants arriving in the country. region and a more cohesive regional strategy to deal with future pandemic-related health threats.
The dynamics of the beginning of the negotiations between Biden and Trudeau could not be more different from those between Biden and López Obrador.
During that meeting, the Mexican leader urged Biden to improve life in the entire region, telling him that “you hold the key in your hands.”
“The moment has come for us to decide to put an end to this abandonment, this contempt and oblivion towards Latin America and the Caribbean,” López Abrador said.
Biden responded by pointing to the billions of dollars the United States spends on foreign aid around the world.
At the beginning of the meeting between Biden and Trudeau on Tuesday, the leaders spoke familiarly and with optimism. Trudeau referred to the US president as “Joe” and Biden joked with Trudeau – after the Canadian leader made a statement to reporters in English and French – that he should have paid more attention in his French classes in college.
Biden and Trudeau also discussed their countries’ efforts to support Ukraine nearly 11 months after the Russian invasion. On Tuesday, Canada announced that it will acquire the US National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) for transfer to Ukraine. The medium-range ground-based air defense system, which protects against drone, missile and aircraft attacks, costs about $406 million and brings Canada’s contribution to Ukraine to more than $1 billion since the start of the war.
The White House statement said the leaders also discussed “a generational opportunity to strengthen supply chains for critical minerals, electric vehicles and semiconductors.” The US administration also said that Biden will make his first visit to Canada as president in March.
“There are many reasons for optimism, especially for those of us in our own countries,” Trudeau said. “But it will take a lot of work, which neither you nor I nor most of our citizens have ever feared.”
For the past two years, Biden and López Abrador have not been on particularly good terms. The Mexican leader did not hide his admiration for Trump last year as well he missed the Los Angeles summit America, because Biden did not invite the authoritarian leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
However, there were attempts to thaw. Biden decided to fly the new Felipe Angeles International Airporta prized project of the Mexican president, even if it has been a source of controversy.
The airport, which is expected to cost $4.1 billion when completed, is more than an hour’s drive north of the city center, has few flights and, until recently, had no permanent drinking water. However, it is one of the key projects López Abrador aims to complete before his term expires next year. The President of the United States is scheduled to fly out of Mexico City International Airport on Tuesday evening.
The US and Mexico also reached an agreement on major changes in migration policywhich Biden announced last week.
According to the plan, the US will send 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela across the border every month from among those who entered the US illegally. Migrants who arrived from these four countries find it difficult to return to their homeland for various reasons.
In addition, 30,000 people per month from these four countries who find sponsors checks and flying the airline in the US will be able to legally operate in the country for two years.
The number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border has skyrocketed during Biden’s first two years in office. More than 2.38 million stops were made in the year ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million.
Biden said he and Trudeau would discuss “how we can try to help stabilize Haiti.”
Canada is considering whether to lead an international mission to Haiti to help resolve the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the country’s Council of Ministers issued an urgent appeal on October 7 calling for the “immediate deployment of specialized armed forces in sufficient numbers” to end the crisis, caused in part by the “criminal activities of armed groups.” But more than three months later, no country has taken a step forward.
Associated Press writers Mark Stephenson and Maria Verza in Mexico City; Rob Gillis in Toronto; and Aamer Madhani, Chris Megerian and Josh Boak in Washington contributed to this report.