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Cooperation In North America


Cooperation In North America

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U.S. President Barack Obama met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper this week in Guadalajara to discuss topics of strategic importance for North America.

One of the important topics addressed in the summit was the novel H1N1 influenza pandemic. The leaders reiterated their abiding commitment to the common safety and security of their people, pledging to continue to work closely, collaboratively, and responsibly on this issue. President Obama resolved to “continue taking all necessary preparations and precautions to prepare for the upcoming flu season and protect the health of our people.”

The President also reaffirmed his administration’s support for Mexico in the fight against drug cartels through the Merida Initiative. He pledged to continue the efforts to reduce the drug demand in the U.S.

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President Obama called for coordinated action to restore economic growth. Questioned about the “Buy American” policies that leave Canadian firms out of the bidding for some state and local contracts funded by the stimulus package, he emphasized that we have not seen sweeping steps toward protectionism in the United States. President Obama believes there may be mechanisms that will allow U.S. local and state governments and Canadian provinces to work together in cross-border procurement practices to expand the trade relationship.

The President emphasized that our future prosperity depends on clean energy economies, and called for investment in alternative energy and green jobs. He noted that progress had been made toward concrete climate change goals that will be negotiated at the December climate change summit in Copenhagen.

On immigration, President Obama noted that North American countries have been enriched by family and community ties. “My administration will continue to work to fix America’s broken immigration system,” said Mr. Obama. He referred to border security and orderly legal migration as conditions for prosperity.

President Obama said that nations should work together if they want to stand up to today’s challenges.

“Our common aspirations can only be achieved if we work together. And that’s what the nearly half billion people in North America expect from us, so that’s what we will do.”

Pledging to continue the partnership with President Calderon and Prime Minister Harper, President Obama said he looked forward to welcoming both of them at the Pittsburgh Summit this September.

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