rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

'Three Amigos' summit likely to focus on trade and climate change

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Photo: Prime Minister of Canada/flickr

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

The next so-called "Three Amigos" summit will take place in Ottawa on June 29.

CBC reports:

"[Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau will play host in the final week of June to U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto at the first gathering of the so-called Three Amigos to be held in Canada in nearly a decade. ...The prime minister has also invited Obama to address Parliament, an invitation he extended when the president feted him in Washington two months ago. And, not to play favorites, Pena Nieto will be in Ottawa ahead of the summit for a state visit of his own. It includes a formal dinner hosted by the prime minister at the National Gallery of Canada where a special exhibit of Mexican art is planned."

What will the summit be about?

Laura Dawson, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, D.C., says, "I think they need to make a new commitment to North America.  If you listen to any of the U.S. election coverage right now: North American trade. Immigration. Canada. Mexico. These are all dirty words in the campaign."

The Canadian Press adds:

"Canada was supposed to host a Three Amigos summit last year, but the meeting did not materialize -- partly because then-prime minister Stephen Harper was at odds with Mexico over a visa requirement for Mexican visitors to Canada, and partly because the U.S. had resisted approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The Mexican visa issue is still outstanding, but Trudeau has promised to resolve it."

The Toronto Star notes that Trudeau "downplayed concern over protectionist trade talk on the U.S. campaign trail" when announced the upcoming Three Amigos summit. Trudeau says, "I think one of the things we see in any electoral campaign, including electoral campaigns here in Canada, is a bit of rhetoric around protectionism that tends to dissipate a little bit once the election has come and gone." On NAFTA, presumed Republican nominee Donald Trump has stated, "We will either renegotiate it or we will break it." Likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has expressed her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

This past March, The Globe and Mail reported, "Canada will play host to the next North American Leaders' Summit, this summer, and a senior government official said Trudeau will make climate change a key focus of the talks along with boosting continental trade." The news report added:

"Mr. Trudeau said the environmental strategy announced at the White House on Thursday [March 10] to regulate potent greenhouse gases such as methane gas and black carbon, limit heavy vehicle emission and safeguard sensitive marine areas in the Arctic must be extended to Mexico."

Trudeau presumably intends to build on the trilateral agreement signed in Winnipeg in February by Canada, the United States and Mexico. At that time, CBC reported, "Sources tell CBC News the emphasis will be on a 'low-carbon future' for North America. This essentially kickstarts the detailed, behind the scenes work needed for a continent-wide agreement that will enable all three countries to work together on clean energy and options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." That news article further highlights that the Winnipeg meeting was the beginning of "discussions on the first North American accord on climate change and clean energy."

Author Gordon Laxer has commented:

"Canada's Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the Winnipeg agreement builds on 'strides' made toward a continental energy strategy. That's news to Canadians. What strides and to what end? Would a continental energy strategy help Canada meet its ambitious Paris climate promises? Will it lock Canadians into their traditional role as diggers and exporters of carbon fuels?"

Laxer also calls for public consultations on this continental energy strategy, just as the Liberals have promised on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He argues, "Why the double standard? Why should Canadians not be as widely consulted on a continental climate strategy, too?"

And Laxer cautions:

"It's easy to see why U.S. officials want continental energy integration. Despite the recent surge in domestic oil production, the U.S. is forecast to still import more than a quarter of its oil through 2035. Washington sees Canada and Mexico as much safer oil suppliers than the Middle East and Venezuela."

In August 2007, the Council of Canadians mobilized against the North American Leaders' Summit that took place in Montebello, Quebec. The focus of that meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon was the controversial Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

Photo: Prime Minister of Canada/flickr

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.