Leaders iron out their rough edges at the closure of the North Summit

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada tried to play down their mutual frustrations on migration and trade and in the closing message of the summit of North American leaders on Tuesday afternoon showed a common front to work together for integration.

The main tensions were between the American Joe Biden and the Mexican Andrés Manuel López Obrador when the latter blamed him for Washington’s “abandonment” and “disdain” for Latin America despite the fact that Biden has made the repair of alliances a stone cornerstone of his foreign policy agenda.

Twenty-four hours later, the situation outlined in the joint conference was more optimistic.

“The three of us are true partners,” Biden said, adding that they felt “real sympathy” with each other. “We share a common vision for the future, based on common values.”

López Obrador, for his part, thanked Biden for not building “not one meter of a wall,” a not-so-subtle hint at Republican predecessor Donald Trump. And he joined one of the priorities of the US administration: combating deaths from fentanyl, a drug that is produced in Mexico but is still not widely consumed in the country because it is much more lucrative for the cartels to export it.

“We care a lot, being able to help,” he said. “It is not just a matter of the United States; it is that if we do not face this problem, this scourge, we are going to suffer it too”.

In the joint declaration, the three leaders made clear their intention to work on a single front to address key issues such as migration, competitiveness, regional security and climate change.

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In addition, they committed to exploring standards to develop hydrogen as a regional energy source, and to move quickly to implement clean energy solutions, the North American Declaration notes.

They also agreed to the formation of stronger regional supply chains, as well as the promotion of specific investment in key industries such as semiconductors and electric vehicle batteries.

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