Worldwide: Top Takeaways From North American Leaders' Summit And Canada-Mexico State Visit

This past week the North American Leaders' Summit (NALS) was held in Ottawa, Canada, with US President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Prior to the summit, Dentons' professionals held an interactive teleconference led by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, former US Ambassador to Canada Gordon Giffin, former Canadian Industry Minister James Moore and the leader of our Mexico practice, Rogelio López Velarde.

Directly below are some highlights of the teleconference, followed by a recap of the next-day's summit.

On the teleconference, Mr. Chretien, after reminding us that he coined the phrase "Three Amigos Summit" when he participated in the Miami NALS meeting, talked about the importance of both formal support for policies like free trade agreements, but also informal diplomacy, recalling how he served so many PEI (Prince Edward Island) potatoes to President Bush during a summit that it ultimately led to the end of a Canada-US dispute over the export of that particular agricultural commodity.

Ambassador Giffin, for his part, previewed the agreements on energy and environmental policy, and put the NALS discussion into a larger context as well, pointing out that the dynamic of the three leaders together should continue as an annual event. On trade policy, Amb. Giffin compared the relationship between the North America and the European Union with that of the tortoise and the hare. EU is the hare, sprinting out in front with harmonization and the breaking down of economic barriers, whereas tortoise-like North America has taken a slower and more cautious approach to intra-continental collaboration. The Ambassador predicted that in the wake of the UK's exit from the EU, North American leaders would reaffirm their support for greater economic integration.

Mr. López Velarde, noting that the President of Mexico still has two years remaining in his mandate, said his focus in this summit would be on the issues of energy security as well as reform of his country's telecommunications and banking industries. Mr. López Velarde also commented on the business opportunities resulting from NAFTA, noting that they abound and will only increase as a result of the policies to be announced at the North American Leaders meeting.

Finally, Mr. Moore addressed the fact that economic nationalism is on the march, and not just in the three largest economies of Europe but also in elements of both the Democratic and Republican parties in the US, and that this dynamic, complicated by growing economic pressure from China, points to the importance of collaboration among the three countries of North America.

Dentons clients and media were able to pose questions to our experts on the Three Amigos Summit preview.

The following day, the North American Leaders met. It was a substantive, solid summit, the climate and trade work plans having been worked out beforehand by ministers. The test will be in their delivery.

The reaffirmation of the North American idea was unscripted and the news conference surprisingly passionate, especially on the part of President Obama, whose ardent address to Parliament took issue, without direct reference, with Donald Trump's speech of the previous day. It was a speech worth seeing and reading, and was enthusiastically received by all in the chamber.

Here are the top takeaways from the NALS meetings:

North American economic integration

US President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed their joint belief in closer North American economic integration in the face of Brexit and Trumpism. Addressing the Canadian Parliament, President Obama said, "[H]ow we respond to the forces of globalization and technological change will determine the durability of an international order that ensures security and prosperity for future generations." Obama acknowledged that if the "benefits of globalization accrue only to those at the very top, if our democracies seem incapable of assuring broad-based growth and opportunity for everyone, then people will push back out of anger or out of fear." The right response is not walls but a reassertion of the "values of pluralism and tolerance, rule of law, openness, global engagement, and commerce, and co-operation, coupled with equal opportunity and an investment in our people at home."

Climate, clean energy and the environment

A North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership Action Plan was unveiled at the summit with the announced goal of North America becoming "the world's most competitive player in the clean growth economy" with 50% clean energy generation by 2025. The plan calls for joint collaboration on the development and deployment of clean energy, including renewable, nuclear and carbon capture and storage technologies; clean energy innovation (through the Mission Innovation initiative) and improved energy efficiency. Commitments include:

  • Cut power waste by aligning ten appliance-efficiency standards or test procedures by 2019
  • Complete at least 5,000 megawatts of cross-border transmission projects to facilitate deployment of clean power (e.g., the Great North Transmission Line, the New England Clean Power Link and the Nogales Interconnection)
  • Undertake a joint study of the opportunities and impacts of adding more renewables to the electric grid on a continental basis as part of North American Cooperation on Energy Information platform
  • Mexico to join Canada and the US in committing to reduce its methane emissions from the oil and gas sector—the world's largest methane source—by 40% to 45% by 2025 towards achieving the greenhouse gas targets in our nationally determined contributions
  • Green government operations to achieve 100% clean energy by 2025 through the purchase of more efficient products, cleaner power and clean vehicles (the US General Services Administration and the Public Services and Procurement Canada announced their intention to increase the percentage of electricity they purchase from clean energy sources to 100% by 2025)
  • Align methods for estimating the social cost of carbon and completing comprehensive Midcentury Strategies for driving down greenhouse gas emissions through, for example, voluntary ISO 50001 energy performance standard and alignment of ten energy efficiency standards or test procedures for equipment by the end of 2019
  • Perform joint collaborative research on: (i) smart grids and energy storage; (ii) reduction of methane emissions; (iii) carbon capture, use and storage; (iv) nuclear energy; (v) advanced heating and cooling, including energy efficiency in building; and (vi) investments to establish ‎North American refueling corridors for clean vehicles
  • Convene auto industry leaders and other stakeholders by spring 2017 as part of a shared vision for a competitive and clean North American automotive sector
  • Canada, the US and Mexico to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles by aligning fuel efficiency and/or GHG emission standards by 2025 and 2027, respectively; and to reduce air pollutant emissions by aligning emission standards for light- and heavy-duty vehicles and corresponding low-sulphur fuel standards, beginning in 2018
  • Establish a North America black carbon inventory under the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, through which each country submits a national inventory
  • Harmonize green freight efforts for North America by expanding the SmartWay Program to also include Mexico

Initiatives to advance North American trade and competiveness

  • Canadian and US citizens who are members of the NEXUS Program will be eligible to apply to the Viajero Confiable Program, which would provide them with expedited immigration screening upon arrival at select international airports in Mexico
  • Align processes and requirements for an eventual North American "Single Portal"
  • Promote cluster asset mapping for supply chain efficiency
  • The leaders endorsed their trade ministers' "2016 North American Competitiveness Work Plan," which facilitates partnerships through 14 new initiatives to reduce costs for business, improve supply chain efficiency, advance innovation and economic development and engage stakeholders through consultation and outreach (the US will host the first annual Stakeholder Dialogue on North American Competiveness this fall in Washington, DC)
  • A fourth package of amendments (Track IV) to liberalize the NAFTA rules of origin for a variety of products, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, rubber, metals, industrial and electrical machinery, precision instruments and natural gas, products that currently account for a total of $166 billion in annual trilateral trade
  • Agreement to address the problems relating to excess capacity in steel production, including curtailing government subsidies and other supports
  • Establishment of a trilateral Customs Steel Enforcement Dialogue, designed to facilitate coordinated compliance efforts and information sharing regarding the enforcement of anti-dumping and countervailing measures on steel products
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Women Entrepreneurship (with women entrepreneur mission Canada to Mexico)
  • Host an industry summit in Washington on cyber security in North America in late September to kick off Cyber security Awareness Month
  • Strengthening intergovernmental partnerships, supporting coordinated border management, and providing a platform for private sector engagement
  • Canada will embed personnel into a US customs center—in which Mexican custom personal are already currently embedded—on a pilot basis to establish a foundation for joint contraband threat identification and examination activities
  • Canada will host the 6th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (September)

Security, defense and other collaborations

  • Support for the fight against trade in illicit drugs
  • Enhance cooperation on North American, regional and global priorities by establishing a consultation mechanism that will meet twice a year
  • Cooperation in peacekeeping, security, defense, human trafficking, illicit financial flows, foreign fugitives (90-day trilateral pilot on tracking and apprehending foreign fugitives, report back in 2017), establishment of a North American Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, and development funding for security in Central and Latin America and climate cooperation

Canada resetting its relationship with Mexico

  • Canada is lifting the visa on Mexicans (imposed in July 2009) by December 1, 2016, but Mexicans will need to apply through Electronic Travel Authorization scheme that is still to be rolled out (and applies to Europeans but not US)
  • Mexico is lifting all restrictions on importing Canadian beef (a legacy of "mad cow"), worth an estimated $10 million, by October 1
  • Renewed strategic partnerships creating High-Level Strategic Dialogue of ministers (to meet in October) led by foreign ministers around strengthening of ties, people mobility, clean economy, security and defense, regional and global cooperation.
  • Agreements were signed on:
    • Indigenous cooperation (to especially benefit women) through the International Development Research Centre; development especially in Central America and Caribbean
    • Climate change
    • Disease (e.g., Zika virus) mitigation and information-sharing on health products
    • Disaster preparedness and emergency management (Mexican firefighters helped during recent forest fires)
    • Education (more two-way student flow with modest scholarship improvements with Mexico on our six target markets for students)
    • Tourism (Canada expects more tourists)

Softwood lumber

President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau issued a statement saying they are working to find solution "designed to maintain Canadian exports at or below an agreed US market share."


President Obama called on Canada (which currently spends 1% of GDP on defense) to "contribute its full share to our common security" (NATO reference for defense spending is 2% of GDP) because "NATO needs more Canada."

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
24 Oct 2017, Seminar, Washington, DC, United States

The Dentons Forum for Women Executives invites you to join us for a luncheon featuring guest speaker Liza Mundy, journalist and author. Ms. Mundy recently released her latest book, Code Girls, the riveting untold story of more than 10,000 spirited young American women who cracked German and Japanese codes to help win World War II.

27 Oct 2017, Seminar, New York, United States

Please join us for a milestone event, our 10th annual CLE Seminar for In-House Counsel.

1 Nov 2017, Seminar, Washington, DC, United States

Celebrate the 58th anniversary of Dentons' Government Contracts practice

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.