Thu | Sep 21, 2017

NA leaders confront rising tide of protectionism

Published:Thursday | June 30, 2016 | 6:00 AM

NA leaders confront rising tide of protectionism

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP):

The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico convened a summit yesterday intended to reaffirm their close cooperation on security, the environment and trade at a time of rising extremist threats around the globe and isolationist calls in the American presidential campaign.

President Barack Obama met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at the North American Leaders' Summit. Obama planned to address the Canadian Parliament the ninth American leader to do so and the first since Bill Clinton in 1995.

The fallout from Britain's decision to leave the European Union also was expected to be on the agenda.

The attack on a Turkish airport, in which 41 people died on Tuesday added to the urgency of discussions about how the three countries can work together to enhance security.

"We will not rest until we have dismantled these networks of hate that have an impact on the entire civilised world," Obama said.

GLOBALISATION FEARS

Cooperation on a range of issues was a summit theme less than a week after Britain's vote to leave the EU highlighted public fears about globalisation.

Obama, before meeting with Pena Nieto, emphasised America's ties with Mexico.

"At a time when we all too often are hearing rhetoric that ignores the enormous contributions that have been made by Mexican-Americans and the enormous strengths that we draw from in the relationship with our good neighbours to the south, it's been useful for us to reaffirm all the issues we've been working on together," Obama said.

Pena Nieto stressed the need for economic cooperation among countries.

"We must acknowledge that isolationism cannot bring prosperity to a society," he said. "It is from a collective effort between the countries that are located in one region."

Earlier, Trudeau pointed to the North American example of economic integration and warned of the risks of protectionism and nationalism.

"Better collaboration, better partnerships are a path to prosperity," Trudeau said on Tuesday. "And that's a compelling example that we want to showcase at a time where, unfortunately, people are prone to turning inwards, which will unfortunately be at the cost of economic growth and their own success.