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U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: “It’s an honor to welcome our two closest neighbors to the White House.”
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted the leaders of Canada and Mexico leaders at the White House on Thursday for their first North American summit in five years, talks aimed at revitalizing regional cooperation but shadowed by economic tensions.
Earlier on Thursday, two separate bilateral meetings in the Oval Office.
First,Biden met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and thenMexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, when in brief remarks to reporters, Biden cited migration among the main issues they were tackling.
"Together, we're taking on problems, mutual problems that affect our people: getting the pandemic under control, driving an inclusive economic recovery and addressing migration."
The talks were aimed at finding common ground among the three neighbors bound together by the United States-Mexico-Canada- free trade agreement, which governs some $1.5 trillion in North American trade annually.
While major breakthroughs could be hard to come by, Biden hoped to make headway on some of the thorniest challenges with America’s two biggest neighbors, including easing immigration pressures, reducing trade friction, recovering from the global pandemic and competing better with China.
Among the tangible gains expected from the North American Leaders' Summit are agreements on new methane curbs and COVID-19 vaccine donations.
BIDEN: “Yesterday, we crossed two hundred and fifty million doses, delivered to ten countries. And on our way to meeting our commitment of one billion two hundred two hundred one billion, two hundred million doses donated for free, no strings attached to the rest.”
The deals stem from a push by Biden to revive the so-called ‘Three Amigos’, a working group ditched by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Resetting ties with Mexico and Canada is also part of Biden's effort to turn the page on the Trump era, shifting away from his predecessor’s go-it-alone approach to a more collaborative style.