August 9th, 2009
01:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Economy, security expected to lead North American summit

President Obama travels to Mexico this week for talks with Calderon and Harper.
President Obama travels to Mexico this week for talks with Calderon and Harper.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) – President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive Sunday afternoon in Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, for a day and a half of talks with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

A broad range of issues are expected to be discussed - including the economy, drug violence, and the environment - but no major announcements are expected, officials said in the days leading up the North American Leaders' Summit.

Obama will meet with Calderon before the three leaders gather at a working dinner Sunday evening, according to the White House.

"The themes of this summit are: one, economic recovery and competitiveness; two, citizen safety and security; and three, clean energy and climate change. All are core priorities of this administration," National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones said in a briefing this week.

More than 4,000 policemen and soldiers were maintaining a security perimeter around the building where the meetings would take place. As with previous summits, demonstrators were expected.

A key issue expected to lead the talks is the economy, as the U.S. economic downturn has affected its neighbors.

In May, the Mexican government announced that its GDP had shrunk by 5.9 percent in the first quarter. Exports to the United States and the rest of the world, a key component of Mexico's GDP, was down considerably because of decreased global demand, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Canada has complained about "Buy American" provisions in parts of the U.S. economic stimulus package, which it says can harm trade between the two partners. Harper is likely to raise the topic during talks.

The summit follows one of Mexico's deadliest months in its fight against drug cartels.

More than 10,000 people, including more than 1,000 police officers, have been killed since Calderon began an offensive against the cartels in 2006. But reports of human rights abuses by soldiers fighting the drug traffickers has recently attracted attention in the United States, and about $1 million of counternarcotics aid could be withheld as a result.

Calderon is also expected to press the issue of the long-stalled permission for Mexican trucks to roll on U.S. highways, officials said. Despite a stipulation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, U.S. officials have not allowed Mexican trucks into the United States. A pilot program was canceled by Congress last year, and Mexico retaliated with $2.4 billion in tariffs on select American products.

"The bottom line is that what affects our bordering neighbors has the potential to affect us all, so we want to be certain that we have the tightest and best possible cooperation," Jones told reporters.

–CNN en Español's Mario Gonzalez contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Grandma

    We love you and we know you are thinking of us .

    August 9, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. MatthewDetroit

    Barack and Congress are a bunch of lying cheats.
    They MADE THE AUTOMOTIVE LEADERS LOOK BAD FOR PLANES.
    THEN THEY PULL THIS CRAP.
    Democrats in the House order eight G5 Gulfstream jets for $550 million that will be used by the Pentagon to ferry around VIPs in Congress - even though the Pentagon says it does not need or want the planes. The response from the White House is silence. Democrats in the House make a down payment on 12 F-22s for the Air Force at a cost of $369 million and the White House threatens to veto the defense authorization bill and successfully defeats the funding. Just in case you had any doubt about this administration's spending priorities, as far as Obama is concerned the Congress can spend trillions on anything it wants. But he draws a line in the sand when it comes to providing our troops with the best equipment money can buy.

    August 9, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Bpin

    No announcements are expected to be made. In other words, a wasted vacation on the taxpayer's dime while we face chaos in our own country. Why should we be surprised? Suffice it to say I will not vote for this man again.

    August 9, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. No Hillary = No Obama

    They only thing these two need to talk about is stopping illegal immigration and declaring war on the drug traffic that has inundated this country. I have a story to tell about an illegal operation right next door to me – I think American's would be outraged if this saw this – this needs to be made public.

    August 9, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. thomas lybbert

    Mr dean I have more faith in what Palin says than anything an obama boot licker has to say. The only thing you know about Palin are the lies the dems and the media made up inorder to smear and slander her and that female dog named couric. Palin is not promoting 6 trillion dollar debts. Palin is not promoting gov't take over of industry and finance.Palin is not promoting that americans snitch on each other. Palin is not promoting that 85 percent of americans give up their health care for gov't sponsored inefficient health care. Palin knows more about americans than you do. By the way Palin did not send thugs to town hall meetings to beat up America's grandmas and grandpas like you false god did.

    August 9, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. nea-nea

    I know somebody will have something negative to say about this so i want to say Thank GOD that this President was elected LORD knows what this country need and just anybody could not do the job this president have to do and i Thank GOD for equipping him. I know some dont want him to be President but thats ok he is still getting the moving forward with his agenda! GOD BLESS THIS ADMISTRATION AND GOD BLESS THE USA.

    August 9, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Concerned

    Please President Obama, don't apologize to Mexico for whatever you feel America did to victimize them in the past.

    August 9, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. J.C.

    Mexican trucks driving on US highways will increase problems of illegal drug and worker smuggling. We have our requirements for our truck drivers and truck conditions. Without sufficient English, it will be a problem for Mexican truck drivers to understand our traffic signs as we don't have a Spanish version of signs everywhere in the US. This will give more excuses for insurance companies to raise car/truck insurance premiums and cause price increase on everything. That is a definite No in my opinion.

    August 9, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Barry NiFong, Hawaii

    Why did we need a stimulus when only 9% has been spent and the economy is recovering. Another Obama lie. How are those shovel ready projects coming for all you who are unemployed?

    August 9, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |