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Feb. 19th continental summit confirmed for Toluca, Mexico

The Canadian Press reports, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper will join his North American counterparts in Mexico next month for a continental summit. Harper’s office confirmed the Feb. 19 trip to Toluca (about 60 kilometres west of Mexico City) where President Enrique Pena Nieto will host him and U.S. President Barack Obama. It will be the first meeting of the so-called Three Amigos since a brief gathering in Washington in April 2012. …The Mexicans are pushing for the lifting of Canadian travel visa requirements on visiting Mexicans, and Harper has said he would like to see that lifted. Harper’s spokesman says trade, energy and security will be on the agenda for the talks.”

The Globe and Mail adds, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper – who is looking to sign a second major trade deal before the next election – will have an opportunity to talk trade directly with his U.S. and Mexican counterparts next month when North American leaders meet in Toluca, Mexico, for a summit. Having reached a comprehensive trade deal last year with the European Union, Mr. Harper’s trade focus now turns to the 12 member Trans Pacific Partnership – a group that includes the U.S. and Mexico.”

On January 10, Agence France-Presse reported, “Mexico will host the leaders of the United States and Canada next month for a summit to revitalize the 20-year-old NAFTA trade bloc, the Mexican foreign ministry (has) said. …The three trade partners will discuss ways to seize on the region’s gas reserves… The summit comes after Mexico passed a series of major structural reforms, including an opening of the energy sector that will end the 75-year-old state oil and gas monopoly.”

In mid-December, the Miami Herald reported, “The Obama administration is ‘exploring’ a regional trade plan for the Americas that would be the most ambitious hemispheric initiative in years. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview that he would like to first seek an agreement to deepen the existing North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, and to expand it afterward to the rest of Latin America. Top aides to Kerry say the plan to relaunch NAFTA could come as early as February (at this continental summit) …According to top Kerry aides, the three NAFTA countries are planning to discuss, among other things, a regional energy agreement.”

Further reading
NAFTA @ 20 – Some perspectives from planet earth