The keys to the North American Leaders Summit

This Monday the Summit of North American Leaders begins in Mexico City, in which the President of the United States, Joe Biden, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will participate as host. . The three countries have organized this meeting to discuss various foreign policy issues that involve the region over three days: January 9, 10 and 11. The Mexican Foreign Ministry has revealed in recent days that the work agenda will be marked by six axes: diversity; equity and inclusion; environment and climate change; competitiveness with the rest of the world; migration and development; Health and security.

The last summit of the Three Amigos, as it is informally known, was held in November 2021 in Washington, since then the three countries have seen significant changes in geopolitics that will lead them to update some of their agreements. This is the first time that Biden has visited Mexico as president of the United States, while for Trudeau it is the second time that he has traveled to the country in an official act. The summit will begin with the arrival of Biden in Mexico City this Sunday afternoon, while Trudeau will land in the Mexican capital on Monday at noon. The three presidents are expected to meet on Monday for an official photograph and to participate in the trilateral summit on Tuesday. These are the most relevant topics to follow closely during the meeting:


The United States announced last week a humanitarian visa program for migrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua or Haiti. The measure has been implemented due to the saturation of the border between Mexico and the United States, after the Supreme Court decided in December to maintain Title 42 – a rule that expels migrants to Mexico on the spot – and which has caused an emergency in border cities in the face of the continuous arrival of thousands of refugees. The Biden Administration has shown interest in addressing the situation and has even organized a visit by the US president to the border, in the city of El Paso (Texas). Mexico continues to contain the passage of migrants at its southern border, although it issues temporary refugee permits to some of the migrants seeking to reach the US.


A fundamental issue in the relationship between the three countries is security. All the partners have shown their concern about the situation of violence that has occurred in Mexico for more than a decade. In recent years, Mexico and the United States have sat down to discuss how to address the situation: in October 2021 they signed the Bicentennial Understanding, an agreement designed to address security from different perspectives. Among the actions that governments seek to strengthen are border security, synthetic drug trafficking, and the administration of justice for members of drug cartels. In this last section, Mexico has shown its willingness to do so in recent days with the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, son of El Chapo and one of the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. The US government attributes to El Raton the illegal trafficking of significant amounts of fentanyl into the United States. The Mexican authorities have assured that they will deliver justice in this case.


The three countries are in consultations for the free trade agreement (TMEC), after the US pointed out that Mexico’s energy policy went against the competition measures of the trade agreement. The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has struggled to limit the participation of foreign companies in the energy market in Mexico, which has sparked complaints from the other two partners. The matter is pending resolution. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Reuters in recent days that he was willing to address the issue to insist with López Obrador on the importance of investment in the sector for the three countries. The TMEC keeps the three countries united by their interest in being an influential bloc in global trade dynamics.

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