'Three Amigos' Summit May Not Be So Amicable

Canada, Mexico both angry about Obama protectionism
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2009 6:58 AM CDT
Barack Obama and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon chat before a state dinner in Mexico City earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
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(Newser) – President Obama is headed to Guadalajara today for his first "Three Amigos" summit with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, but the meeting may be less than completely friendly. Trade and drug trafficking will dominate the agenda, and the leaders have some grievances they plan to press, reports Reuters. Felipe Calderón wants Obama to resolve a simmering dispute involving Mexican trucks driving into the States, while Stephen Harper will voice Canadian anger over the stimulus package's "Buy American" rule.

One relief for Harper and Calderón is that Obama has walked away from renegotiating NAFTA, as he proposed during presidential campaign. In an interview with Spanish-language media, Obama said the focus has changed now that all three countries are grappling with recession. Also promised at the conference: a statement on swine flu, which first appeared in Mexico and continues to spread.