Trade and migration issues were discussed at the Washington Summit by US and Mexican presidents Joe Biden and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Thursday’s North America Leaders’ Summit was the first of its kind in five years.
Thursday’s Washington Summit, known as the “Three Amigos Summit,” was the first of its kind since Canada organized it in 2016. It was also the first summit of North American leaders without a joint press conference.
According to the White House, the main topics of the talks were economic matters and the development of trade cooperation under the USMCA agreement, which replaced the NAFTA pact in 2020. Leaders signed an agreement to share surplus COVID-19 vaccines with each other and with the wider region. Migration was also a priority. According to official data, in the last fiscal year the number of people arrested during attempts to illegally cross the US-Mexico border reached the highest level in decades and amounted to over 1.7 million.
“We must ensure that the recovery of our economies is inclusive and that the whole of society benefits from it, and we must deal with the challenges of unprecedented migration in our hemisphere,” US President Joe Biden said at the opening of the tripartite meeting. Justin Trudeau announced that he would sign a “world-class trade agreement to protect workers’ rights.”
North American leaders on migration
The White House announced that leaders were to focus not so much on the border itself as addressing the causes of the crisis, including poverty and violence in Latin American countries. The talks resulted in the signing of a number of contracts and obligations, including to reform the asylum system, facilitate migration for seasonal workers and support to countries
The subject of the talks was also the plans of the Biden administration regarding the granting of tax breaks in the amount of PLN 12.5 thousand. US dollars for consumers purchasing electric cars manufactured in the US. These proposals, contained in the draft bill debated by Congress, were criticized by Prime Minister Trudeau as protectionist and inconsistent with the USMCA. For the same reason, they also aroused controversy in Mexico.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / CHRIS KLEPONIS