Major Canadian think tank Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is advising Ottawa to “Put Mexico first” in new report,lending advice that falls nicely in line with the new liberal government’s agenda to improve North American relations.
According to The Globe and Mail,the U.S. remains Canada’s largest and therefore most important trading partner,but in 2016 there is more to gain from strengthening relations with Mexico,since there are only small gains likely to happen during the last year of the Obama administration.
“Now is the time for Canada and Mexico to sit down and decide what they want to get out of the next administration,” stated Fen Hampson,who serves as director of the Global Security and Politics Program at CIGI,in a recent interview with The Globe and Mail. “Mexico has a growing population,an expanding middle class with growing disposable incomes and the potential for increasing investment.”
If the productivity growth that immediately followed the 1993 free-trade agreement is any indication,strengthened relations between the U.S.,Canada and Mexico could generate trillions for each of the nations’ economies. One of the most important topics of discussion today involves climate change and energy,with the Canadian government working to develop a new agreement that outlines a North American framework for the future.
This comes after Mexico and Canada signed a renewable energy accord last November,promising to exchange renewable energy project best practices. The move will strengthen Mexico’s ability to effectively develop mini hydroelectric projects,as well as energy storage,high-voltage infrastructure and social impacts. The agreement will also provide the opportunity for Mexico to learn from Canada’s experience in renewable energy – an added benefit that Leonardo Beltrán Rodríguez,who serves as Mexico’s deputy ministry for planning and energy transition,says will help Mexico meet its long-term clean energy goals.
“There will also be talks about taking common positions on issues that are relevant throughout the hemisphere,including the effects of climate change on North America and Central America,to energy concerns in the Caribbean,to Latin American Trade,” wrote The Globe and Mail. “There will also be talk of information sharing about cross-border traffic – at a time when the leading challenger for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump,proposes building a wall across the U.S. border with Mexico,and another candidate,Ben Carson,called for building a wall at the Canadian border,too.”
Other talk includes lifting visitors’ visa requirements for Mexicans traveling to Canada,institutionalizing a yearly meeting that involves the acting Canadian Prime Minister,the Mexican President and select cabinet members from both nations.
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