The summit began tense on Monday, but on Tuesday afternoon, after a long wait, the three presidents appeared smiling at the Central Patio of the National Palace in Ciudad de Mexico. The host, Andres Manuel Lopez Obradorwas flanked by his counterparts from USA, Joe BidenY Canada, Justin Trudeau. The Three Amigos seemed to have put their differences over immigration, investment and business opportunities behind them to make way for a more productive time in North America.
Knowing that it enters the three countries account for 28% of the planet’s GDP, the X Summit of North American Leaders was of vital importance to envision the destiny of a region that has always been disconnected from the rest of the continent. But above all to discuss the main concerns of countries with different perspectives and characteristics, but that are needed.
We are true allies”, assured Biden at the joint press conference which, as expected, was monopolized by AMLO who did not hesitate to launch a 24-minute monologue. “We share a common vision for the future, based on common values”added the American.
“As a continent we are unique”exulted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Lopez ObradorFor his part, he thanked Biden that he not build “not one meter of wall”, referring to the Republican Donald Trump and his controversial immigration solution.
The laughter on Tuesday contrasted with the acrimonious bilateral meeting they had AMLOY Biden. Despite the smiles in the photos, the friendly gestures and the warm welcome, the tension between the two presidents became palpable, especially when the Mexican president demanded his US counterpart “forgetfulness, abandonment and disdain towards Latin America and the Caribbean” and told him that “he has the key to open and substantially improve relations between all the countries of the American continent.”
Bidenresponded by defending the spending of billions of dollars in aid by the United States around the world over the past 15 years, saying that “Unfortunately, our responsibility does not end with the Western Hemisphere.”
On Tuesday, however, the Mexican was much more careful with his rhetoric, although he did not stop asking him to regularize the situation of the thousands of undocumented Mexican migrants.
The three leaders also discussed “at length” the immigration issue and cooperation to deal with arms and drug trafficking, especially fentanyl, a synthetic opioid blamed for an epidemic of overdose deaths in the United States. The drug is produced in Mexico and has become a million-dollar business for the cartels.
READ ALSO: Mexico promises North America to stop fentanyl trafficking with the Army
Precisely, the meeting took place days after the capture of the drug trafficker Ovid Guzman, son of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, and who is required by US justice. For many, the arrest – which also left 29 dead in Culiacán – was considered a gift for Biden before the summit.
The coincidences are not free, since last week Washington had announced a new immigration plan to accept the monthly entry into US territory of 30,000 Venezuelan, Haitian, Cuban and Nicaraguan migrants, by air and with a guarantor, in order to relieve the congestion border between Mexico and the United States.
“The summit actually started last week with these two events. The announcement about immigration was not given by chance days before. And the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán was the way in which Mexico wants to show itself to the United States, saying what they are doing something about for border security and the fight against organized crime.”explains to El Comercio Dr. Aribel Contreras, Global Business Coordinator of the Universidad Iberoamericana de México.
Semiconductors and energy
North American leaders also agreed to launch new supply chains and substitute imports from the region, one of the richest and most dynamic in the world, with the goal of becoming increasingly self-sufficient. Although they did not give details at the conference, the White House assured that the US, Mexico and Canada will take measures to strengthen the North American semiconductor industry, a special objective for the Biden administration, whichwants to end Asia’s reliance on microchips.
“Mexico has to get on the electricity supply chain so that it can become a supplier of the chips. The Government of Joe Biden signed a law last year where the bet is to invest a large number of millions of dollars to stop depending on the chips that come from Asia, and that is where Mexico can join on this issue, which is almost national security for the US, becoming a supplier option”, Contreras explained.
One of the major issues in dispute was left out of the conference, despite much speculation during the meeting: Mexico’s energy policy, which Canada and the United States consider protectionist and which could open a dispute mechanism within the T- MEC, the free trade agreement between the three countries.
The Mexican specialist explains why the issue worries Biden and Trudeau: “The energy reform that was cooked up in the interior of Mexico, and that had the endorsement of Congress, authorizes that preference be given to parastatal companies from Mexico. In other words, it is a discriminatory measure for foreign companies. It is a complicated issue because from any perspective, it is a measure that undermines the investments that come from the US and Canada because priority will be given to Mexican companies in the energy issue, and there are not the same rules of the game for all. Most likely, the issue will not be resolved at the summit, and the technical part will be being negotiated through the different ministries.”
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.