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Leaders seek to ‘revitalize’ NAFTA at Feb. 19 summit

Agence France-Presse reports, “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 said Thursday. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergio Alcocer said a tentative date of February 19 was set for the meeting between President Enrique Pena Nieto, US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. …Mexico has yet to decide on the city that will host the summit.”

“The three trade partners will discuss ways to seize on the region’s gas reserves, which are the biggest in the world, Alcocer said without giving more details about the summit agenda. 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, when President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts at a North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico. …According to top Kerry aides, the three NAFTA countries are planning to discuss, among other things, a regional energy agreement.”

Further reading
Will the FTAA be relaunched in February?
Controversial energy law passes in Mexico
NAFTA @ 20 – some perspectives from planet earth