Mandel Ngan / AFP for Getty Images
President Biden on Thursday hosted the Canadian and Mexican heads of state for a tripartite summit – the first North American leadership summit of its kind since 2016.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador joined Biden at the White House to discuss issues including immigration, security, trade, climate and the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are closely linked by history, culture, common environment and economic and family ties, and strongly believe that by strengthening our partnership we will be able to respond to a growing range of global challenges,” the three said in a long-term union. a statement issued by the White House.
Biden hopes to heal some of the wounds opened by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, whose protectionist policies “America First” isolated the United States from its neighbors and closest allies, and caused outrage from some world leaders.
It was under Trump that these once-regular meetings ended, as the former president nullified his focus on U.S. priorities, regardless of the global impact of these decisions, especially if they relate to trade and immigration.
While Biden wants to start a new beginning with U.S. neighbors, there are some economic conflict points that the three leaders don’t see eye to eye with – such as U.S. proposals to offer tax rebates for electric vehicles that would be available only for cars and trucks made in the U.S. with union work.
The meetings on Thursday at the White House were heavy on symbolism.
In his bilateral meeting with López Obrador, Biden stressed that the United States has turned the corner of the past.
“I think it’s a different and emerging relationship that is supported by mutual respect,” he said.
With Trudeau, Biden emphasized common values of “opportunity, equality, and justice,” saying, “This is one of the easiest relationships you can have as an American president, and one of the best.”
Biden met with each leader individually, and then the three met together.