Bush Hosting March 23 Talks with Leaders of Mexico, Canada
Trilateral meeting to promote security, prosperity in region
By Eric Green
Posted on All American Patriots March 7th, 2005
Washington -- President George W. Bush will hold talks
with the leaders of Mexico and Canada on March 23, in
a meeting the White House says is designed to strengthen
border security and promote prosperity in North America.
Bush is hosting Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian
Prime Minister Paul Martin for trilateral working sessions
at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, followed by a lunch
at Bush's ranch in nearby Crawford, located about 40 kilometers
from the university.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said in announcing
the meeting that security and prosperity "go hand-in-hand,"
and that those topics have been "at the top"
of the three countries' shared agenda during previous
Trade matters may also be at the forefront of the Texas
meeting, as the three countries are partners in the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into
effect in 1994. The U.S.-Canada trade relationship represents
the largest bilateral flow of income, goods, and services
in the world, while U.S.-Mexican trade has increased over
225 percent since NAFTA's adoption -- making Mexico the
second-largest trading partner of the United States.
U.S. officials have said that despite disagreements between
the United States and Canada on some issues, the two countries
are linked by geography, history, and economic ties, and
will continue to be the "closest of friends and friendliest
of competitors." U.S. officials say that both the
United States and Canada must do a better job of keeping
their citizens safe from terrorist attack, while also
ensuring that enhanced security at border crossings does
not impede commerce.
The United States and Canada formed a united front against
terrorists crossing their mutual border when they signed
a "Smart Border/30 Point Action Plan" in 2001
concerning immigration-related issues.
The action plan is designed to ensure the secure flow
of people and goods, safeguard infrastructure, and provide
information sharing and coordination in the enforcement
of these objectives. The two countries' shared concern
on immigration matters was reflected in an agreement that
permits the sharing of information relating to asylum
seekers, helping each country identify potential security
and criminality threats.
U.S. officials have said that the environment is another
area where the United States and Canada must work cooperatively
to address such issues as climate change, water quality
in the Great Lakes, and the entry and spread of alien
U.S. officials say the United States and Mexico both
recognize that cooperation between the two countries has
brought positive results in making their common border
"smarter" and more secure through the use of
technology. The two countries say that collaboration between
law enforcement institutions on both sides of the border
has increased and improved in recent years, to the benefit
of citizens of both countries.
Immigration is an issue of paramount importance to the
U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship. President Bush has
reiterated that he is committed to a "Temporary Guest
Worker Program," which would allow an estimated six
million undocumented workers in the United States to gain
legal status. The majority of those workers are from Mexico,
which is the world's number-one country for receiving
money sent home by migrants in the United States. Immigration
experts report that these remittances (money transfers)
sent by Mexican workers to their homeland totaled about
$17 billion in 2004.
The White House says the guest worker program will provide
for more humane treatment of migrants and help meet their
economic needs, while increasing security for the United
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: