The president of the United States, Joe Biden, received this Thursday at the White House his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to whom he reiterated that Washington treats Mexico on equal terms and expressions such as “our friends from the south”.
“Actually, Mr. President, we no longer use expressions such as ‘our friends from the south’, but we are talking about our peers, our countries are on an equal footing, and that’s what I like,” Biden told López Obrador in a previous meeting before the celebration of the IX North American Summit, in which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also participates.
“It is a new emerging relationship that is based on mutual respect … I know that we are both committed so that democracy really helps our people,” Biden emphasized.
President López Obrador recalled one of the points that both addressed the first time they spoke by phone, that the United States would stop seeing the rest of the region as its “backyard.”
“In this way we do not need to be reaffirming our principles of independence and sovereignty. We greatly appreciate this respectful treatment,” López Obrador commented.
The Mexican president also expressed his “approval” for the initiative “to regularize the migratory situation of eleven million people.”
“We are attentive to this process and we hope that both the legislators of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party support it in Congress (…) an initiative that benefits millions of Mexicans who live and work honestly in the United States,” which it has a “social dimension” and “does justice.”
Before meeting in the Oval Office, López Obrador also met with the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, to whom he also conveyed this good reception that the Biden regularization law has had within the Mexican Government.
On Thursday morning, the Mexican president also met with the Prime Minister of Canada, with whom he reaffirmed an agreement to implement new, more inclusive public policies for indigenous peoples.
The meeting between Biden and López Obrador was the last bilateral meeting on Thursday before the three leaders finally meet to address issues of integration, migration, health and economic recovery.
This is the first meeting of the so-called “Three Friends” summit since 2016, when former President Donald Trump unilaterally decided to suspend these meetings under protectionist arguments against free trade.
They seek to strengthen trilateral ties
The objective of the trilateral talks is to find common ground between the three neighbors united by the free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada (T-MEC), which influences about $ 1.5 trillion of US trade annually.
However, differences over the auto industry, “American buy” policies and a Mexican energy bill weighed on the summit.
While it might be difficult to make major breakthroughs, Biden expects progress on some of the thorniest challenges with the two largest neighbors in the United States. USA, such as easing migration pressures, reducing trade frictions, recovering from the global pandemic, and better competing with China.
Among the tangible achievements expected of the North American Leaders Summit There are agreements on new limits to methane and donations of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to senior government officials.
Reestablishing ties with Mexico and Canada is also part of Biden’s effort to turn the page into the era of Donald Trump, moving away from his predecessor’s strident individual approach to a more collaborative style.
Former President Trump had an especially tense deal with Trudeau, imposing tariffs on some Canadian products and sometimes hurling public insults at the Canadian prime minister.
With information from Europa Press and AFP.
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