Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

FOCUS

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

Read more

Americas

Obama, Harper, and Calderon talk trade, swine flu at summit

Video by Catherine NICHOLSON

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-10

Leaders of the US, Mexico and Canada vowed on Monday to fight the spread of the H1N1 swine flu, fight the economic crisis and combat climate change, but differed on the issue of trade at their “three amigos” North American summit.

REUTERS - Leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada vowed on Monday to fight the spread of the H1N1 swine flu and combat climate change but differed on trade disputes at their “three amigos” summit.


U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met against a backdrop of an economic downturn in each country with a U.S. rebound key to a regional improvement.


Obama and Harper said their governments would share information as each faces the possibility of a predicted upsurge in the H1N1 virus this autumn.


“H1N1, as we know, will be back this winter,” Calderon said at a joint news conference. “We are getting prepared, all three countries, to face in a responsible manner this contingency and abate its impacts for our people.”


All three leaders vowed to respect the North American Free Trade Agreement that unites their countries in trade, but differed on some issues.


Harper raised with Obama Canada’s concerns about the “Buy American” provisions in the $787 billion U.S. economic stimulus plan that the Canadians fear could shut out Canadian companies.


Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner.


Obama said it was important to keep in perspective the fact that no sweeping protectionist measures have been imposed and that the “Buy American” provisions were limited to the stimulus and have “in no way endangered the billions of dollars in trade between our two countries.”


Calderon, who is trying to persuade Obama to resolve a cross-border trucking dispute to allow Mexican trucks to transit into the United States, said all three leaders believe it is essential to abide by NAFTA and to “resolve the pending topics” impeding greater regional competitiveness.


Obama had made clear to Calderon that he was working with the U.S. Congress to resolve what he considers to be legitimate safety concerns with Mexican trucks.


He said the United States, Mexico and Canada should take steps to avoid protectionism, saying “we need to expand that trade, not restrict it.”


The three leaders issued a statement on joint efforts to combat climate change with an eye toward a global summit on the topic in Copenhagen in November.


“We, the leaders of North American reaffirm the urgency and necessity of taking aggressive action on climate change,” they said.
 

Date created : 2009-08-10

COMMENT(S)