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North American Summit Wraps Up in Mexico


President Bush says border security should not hamper trade between North American nations.

He spoke Friday at the end of a summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Vicente Fox in Cancun, Mexico. For the past two days, the leaders have been discussing border security, immigration and trade issues.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Harper agreed to more talks on a long-standing trade dispute over U.S. tariffs on imports of Canadian lumber. Officials from the North American Free Trade Agreement have ruled that the tariffs are illegal.

At a joint news conference Friday with the other two leader, Mr. Bush dismissed concerns about the dispute, saying it is an inevitable part of robust trade between neighbors.

In a one-on-one meeting Thursday, Mr. Bush and Mr. Fox focused on immigration issues. Mr. Fox said Friday he is working to provide more jobs for Mexicans in their own country.

The U.S. Congress is discussing an immigration reform bill. Many members of Mr. Bush's Republican Party have broken ranks with the president on immigration. They want to make illegal immigration a felony crime and have a wall built along much of the border. President Bush today again stressed his plan for a limited guest worker program for foreign nationals.

The debate has prompted street protests in the United States by students and foreign-born workers against proposed restrictions.

Prime Minister Harper said Presidents Bush and Fox have accepted his invitation to hold their next meeting in Canada in 2007.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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