The recent North American Leaders Summit in Mexico was seen as a perfect opportunity to try and kickstart the trilateral partnership. While there was no headline grabbers or major breakthroughs, the NAFTA partners still moved forward on some crucial issues that centered around North American competitiveness. They developed a shared set of priorities and established a roadmap for enhancing cooperation in areas such as trade, transportation, energy, as well as border facilitation. This includes creating a North American trusted traveler program which is part of ongoing efforts to establish a fully integrated continental security perimeter. During separate bilateral meetings, Canada and Mexico also took steps towards strengthening political, economic and security ties.
U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto met in Toluca, Mexico on February 19, for the North American Leaders Summit. In a joint statement entitled 21st Century North America: Building the Most Competitive and Dynamic Region in the World, the leaders, "committed to developing a North American Competitiveness work plan, focused on investment, innovation and increased private sector engagement." They also agreed to, "develop a North American Transportation Plan, beginning with a regional freight plan and building on existing initiatives." In addition, the leaders pledged to, "streamline procedures and harmonize customs data requirements for traders and visitors." This includes efforts to, "facilitate the movement of people through the establishment in 2014 of a North American Trusted Traveller Program." The leaders also vowed to, "set new standards for global trade through the prompt conclusion of a high standard, ambitious, and comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)." All three NAFTA partners, along with nine other countries are a part of the TPP trade deal which is currently being negotiated behind closed doors and is being pushed by big corporations.
In conjunction with the trilateral leaders summit, President Obama signed an Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses. A move that the Guardian described as, "a gesture of defiance toward allies in Congress who are hampering his ability to negotiate controversial trade liberalisation agreements." The article went on to say, "attempts to extend NAFTA to a broader Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Asian economies have divided Democrats in Washington who fear its impact on manufacturing jobs, leaving Obama without the authority of Congress to negotiate final details of the deal." The Obama administration's Fast Track trade agenda also suffered another blow when high-level TPP meetings in Singapore missed another deadline and failed to finalize an agreement. The growing domestic and international opposition to the secret trade talks have put the Globalists plan to use the TPP to upgrade and expand NAFTA to more countries in serious jeopardy.
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