Tuesday, June 28, 2016

 

Canada, Mexico leaders showcase ties after Brexit

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and visiting Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto decried protectionism and Britain's exit from the European Union, saying Tuesday that greater North American integration is key to the continent's prosperity.

"We've seen around the world many examples of protectionism, of stepping away from trade agreements and engagements like we're showcasing today," Trudeau said at a joint press conference.

"And I think it's important that allies and partners like Mexico and Canada work together to address the challenges we're facing together.

"This relationship, this partnership, this friendship going forward is an example, I think, to the world that better collaboration, better partnerships are a path to prosperity.

"That's a compelling example that we want to showcase at a time where unfortunately people are prone to turning inwards, which will, unfortunately, be at the cost of economic growth and their own success in many situations."

Following an early morning jog with Trudeau, Pena Nieto at the press conference praised the Trudeau administration for its inclusive politics "in a world where hate speech, racism and discrimination still persist."

"Canada and Mexico are fully convinced that international trade and regional integration are the main strengths of shared economic growth and social well-being," he said.

The two leaders will be joined by US President Barack Obama on Wednesday for an annual North American leaders summit.

It will be Obama's last "Three Amigos" summit before he steps down in January.

Both the Democratic and Republic presumptive nominees seeking to replace him have staked out anti-trade positions.

Donald Trump has railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Hillary Clinton has backpedaled on support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would create the largest free trade area in the world. Her husband Bill signed NAFTA.

Linked by NAFTA since 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States are expected to announce at the summit that they will dovetail their climate and energy policies, including a promise to generate half of their overall electricity from clean energy by 2025, according to the White House.

Mexico will also join an existing commitment by the United States and Canada to reduce emissions of methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- by 40 to 45 percent of its 2012 levels by 2025.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (L) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posing for pictures during a bilateral meeting on June 28, 2016
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