News

    North American Leaders To Meet in Guadalajara

    Multimedia

    The state of the world's economy will be one of the main topics of discussion when U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. The North American leaders' summit, in the Mexican city of Guadalajara, will also focus on security, trade, and the H1N1 flu virus.
     
    Economic recovery will be the first item on the agenda when President Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meet in Guadalajara.

    All three countries have been struggling through the global economic downturn, while many low-wage jobs have migrated from North America to Asia.

    Robert Pastor, the co-director of the Center for North American Studies at Washington's American University, expects the leaders to discuss ways to make their economies more competitive.

    "The economies of all three countries are doing very poorly, and whether they can coordinate and consult better than they have in the last year, would be a good step forward," he said.

    Canada is America's top trading partner, and Mexico is number three, so trade will also be one of the summit's main issues.

    Last year, U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama advocated renegotiating the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which binds the three economies together.

    He has since changed his mind. While visiting Ottawa in February, President Obama told Canada's leader he is now focused on how best to implement NAFTA.

    "I recognize the concerns of Canada given how significant trade with the United States is to the Canadian economy," he said. "I provided Prime Minister Harper an assurance that I want to grow trade and not contract it."

    Sabina Dewan, associate director of International Economic Policy at the Washington-based Center for American Progress, says it is not likely that talk of renegotiating NAFTA will resurface.

    "I think that it's sort of being tossed up in trade circles," said Dewan. "I don't think at this point in time that it is a very serious threat."
     
    One contentious trade issue that will come up is the so-called "Buy American" clause in the $787 billion U.S. economic stimulus. It requires that stimulus-backed public works projects use U.S.-made materials. The clause has angered Washington's trading partners around the world, especially Canada and Mexico. One Mexican official calls it "a stone in the shoe of North American competitiveness."

    The North American neighbors are also expected to talk about cooperation on energy and the environment. Prime Minister Harper laid the groundwork for the discussions when he and Mr. Obama met in Ottawa in February.  

    "We are establishing a U.S.-Canada clean energy dialogue, which commits senior officials from both countries to collaborate on the development of clean energy science and technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change," he said.

    Canada and Mexico are the United States' top two foreign sources of energy.

    Perhaps the most urgent issue to be discussed in Guadalajara is the expected re-emergence of the H1N1 swine flu, which swept through Mexico and the United States earlier this year.

    Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization, says the North American nations cooperated very well to limit the damage from the outbreak.

    "They shared information, they were very transparent, they acted with a lot of solidarity-not only among themselves, sharing resources and information, but also with the rest of the world," she said.

    American University's Robert Pastor says that cooperation can pave the way for efforts to blunt the effects of the next outbreak.

    "The coordination between Mexico, Canada and the United States to deal with that then was excellent," he said. "And I suspect that they have already built the networks that will permit us next fall to cope with the response to it.  

    Dr. Roses says she hopes the North American leaders will not let their countries' economic woes limit their preparations for the next appearance of H1N1.

    "….that they will commit themselves, and also make a call to the rest of the countries that have less resources, to protect the investment in public health infrastructure," said Dr. Roses.  

    Other security issues will figure prominently in the summit. The three leaders are expected to discuss organized crime -especially the violent drug syndicates in Mexico and in the western Canadian city of Vancouver.  

    They are also likely to cover regional strife in Honduras and Venezuela, as well as global security issues including nuclear weapons concerns in Iran and North Korea.

    Immigration policy will not be on the trilateral agenda, but Presidents Obama and Calderon will tackle the issue.

    Guadalajara is Mexico's second-largest city, and it is home to 50,000 North American retirees.

    As usual at summit meetings, security will be very tight. The English-language Guadalajara Reporter newspaper says the city will resemble a "fortress."

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora