US President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto have been meeting up in order to discuss agreements over trade and travel, as well as border enforcement. The three nations are in agreement that managing border controls and streamlining trade are top priorities.
During the North American Leaders Summit the leaders of the three nations focused on the impact that the NAFTA trade agreement has had on the US, Canadian and Mexican economies in the two decades since it was first enacted. The trade agreements between these countries are still monitored by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which also negotiates when necessary, and since last year President Obama has been hoping that trade negotiations could be concluded this year. White House correspondents have previously stated that Obama wants to protect the environment and American workers in addition to benefiting the economy.
Border protection was also discussed by the leaders, in particular how it both directly and indirectly affects immigration between their countries. Over 11 million people from Mexico have migrated to the United States, although the numbers have fallen because of immigration reform and deportation issues in the latter. Many Mexicans are now deciding against going to the US because of the Republican-controlled House of Representative’s refusal to move forward with reform.
Despite criticism over the record number of deportations that have taken place during the Obama administration, the President’s spokespeople insist that he is committed to immigration reform that is fair and includes a pathway to US citizenship.