Biden seeks common ground with Mexico and Canada at summit but tensions remain India Times English News

Washington: US President Joe Biden hosted Canadian and Mexican leaders on Thursday for his first North American summit in five years to revive regional cooperation, overshadowed by Joe Biden’s “Buy American” agenda and tensions over immigration. Was. Happened.

Biden met separately at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, and then held a gathering with all three.

The talks were aimed at finding common ground between the three neighbors bound by the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) free trade agreement, which controls $1.5 trillion annually in North American trade.

But differences over the auto industry, Biden’s “Buy American” policies and the Mexican energy bill weighed on the summit. The United States and Canada also appeared at a standoff over the Biden administration’s proposal for a tax credit on US-made electric vehicles, which violates the Ottawa trade agreements.

While big successes can be hard to achieve, Biden is expected to move forward on some of the toughest challenges with the US’s two biggest neighbors, including easing immigration pressures, easing trade frictions, the global pandemic and China. recovery is included. To compete better. “Our North American vision for the future is based on our shared strength,” Biden said, sitting at a long table that allowed leaders to keep a distance while adhering to COVID-19 protocols.

“We have to end the pandemic and take decisive action to stop the climate crisis. We have to have an inclusive economic recovery,” Biden said. “We have to manage the challenge of unprecedented migration across our hemisphere.”

Among the tangible gains expected from the summit were agreements on new methane curbs and COVID-19 vaccine donations, senior Biden administration officials said ahead of talks. The meetings are the result of a push by Biden to revive the so-called Three Amigos, a working group ditched by his predecessor Donald Trump. Resetting ties with Mexico and Canada is part of Biden’s effort to turn the page on the Trump era, shifting from the strict go-it-alone approach of his predecessor to a more collaborative style. Trump in particular treated Trudeau, imposing tariffs on some Canadian goods and occasionally hurling public insults at the Canadian premier. López Obrador, a left-wing populist, was able to forge an unlikely working relationship with Trump despite the Republican president’s economic threats and insults against Mexicans over migration.

About 10 months after taking office, Biden could use a diplomatic bright spot. He faces lax approval ratings and is trying to play down inflation and supply chain issues while battling record numbers of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border.

Biden is under domestic pressure to stem the sharp increase in migrant crossings, which Republican opponents have ridiculed as an “open border” policy, and requires Mexico’s cooperation.

In brief remarks to reporters during the bilateral talks, Biden – holding his first in-person meeting with López Obrador since taking office in January – said migration was one of the main issues they were dealing with, but not elaborated.

Sitting with Biden, López Obrador thanked the president for proposals that could improve the conditions of many longtime immigrants in the United States, and he urged US lawmakers to support such a move. The fate of any Biden immigration initiative remained uncertain in Congress.

emissions, vaccine deals

US officials said the three North American countries will agree to cut methane emissions in their oil and gas fields by 60% to 75% by 2030, as countries work to curb the potent greenhouse gas. Canada and Mexico were also to announce they were donating millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines – initially loaned to them by the United States – to other countries, one of the US officials declined to be named. Gave. Gave. In addition, leaders were committed to banning imports of goods made from forced labour, a policy that Biden’s administration is targeting to China. Activists and Western politicians accused China of using forced labor in its northwestern Xinjiang province, a charge Beijing denied.

Raising alarm about Beijing’s economic growth, López Obrador said during the three-way meeting that economic integration would be the best way to counter “China’s productive and commercial expansion”. Economic power with China that “will avoid the temptation of attempting to resolve this inequality by the use of force.”

Canada and Mexico are concerned about Biden’s “Buy American” provisions and a proposed electric-vehicle tax credit that would favor unionized, US-based manufacturers.

“We’re going to talk about that,” Biden said in response to a question from a reporter sitting with Trudeau. “It hasn’t been passed by the House yet… there are too many complicating factors.”

Trudeau noted that he and Biden were “strongly aligned” on many issues – in contrast to the prime minister’s frequent skirmishes with Trump.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers could vote Thursday on Biden’s sweeping $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” legislation, which includes tax credits.

Canada says the tax credit would violate USMCA rules. The White House insisted on Thursday that was not the case.

(Additional reporting by Mardi Nzanga in Washington; Dave Graham and Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City; Writing by Matt Spatalnik; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Daniel Wallis)

Disclaimer: This post has been self-published from the agency feed without modification and has not been reviewed by an editor

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