Posted Jan 10, 2023, 6:46 PMUpdated Jan 10, 2023, 6:53 PM
On paper, the “three friends” have everything to get along: a new free trade agreement sealed three years ago to replace NAFTA, comparative advantages for each of them and a Covid crisis which has highlighted the need to strengthen ties with trusted partners. Ahead of the Summit of North American Leaders which brought together Canada, the United States and Mexico this Tuesday in Mexico, Joe Biden and his counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (“AMLO”) however had to evacuate the subjects of tension .
The Mexican president, who had shunned the last invitation of the United States in June to protest against the absence of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, first asked the American president to put an end to the “disdain” of the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean. Above all, the two presidents had to deal upstream with the issue of illegal immigration, at historic levels.
Accused of laxity by the Republicans for two years, Joe Biden has just announced a turn of the screw on the controls illegal migrants, while Mexico City has agreed to take back up to 30,000 migrants each month from Latin American countries, which until now have been difficult to expel from the United States.
What clear the ground to discuss, this Tuesday afternoon, new possible cooperation. The first cited by the White House will be the organization, from the beginning of the year, of a trilateral forum on semiconductors, with the industry.
With the Chips Act, the United States has more than 50 billion dollars in subsidies to distribute to new chip factories to reduce its dependence on Asia. All the major players have already announced investments in the United States, from Samsung (in Texas) to Intel (Arizona and Ohio), via TSMC (in Arizona) and the American Micron (in Idaho and the State from New York).
The three countries now want to “coordinate semiconductor supply chain mapping efforts, to develop a collective understanding of unmet needs,” the White House says. Mexico would particularly like to attract the many subcontractors who are arriving in the wake of the big founders.
Reduce methane emissions
The “three friends” also claim to want to cooperate better to map their critical metal resources. They also promise to commit to reducing their methane emissions from waste and wastewater by at least 15% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels.
The United States, however, defended for itself a more ambitious project (the Global Methane Pledge), which provides for a 30% reduction, all sources combined. Tuesday morning, Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau also held a bilateral meeting to discuss Ukrainian and energy issues.
The two United States partners are also closely monitoring the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, the American plan to electric car subsidies and the production of green energy. Canada and Mexico are better placed than the Europeans: they are eligible for the tax credit of 7,500 dollars that came into force at the start of the year, which requires final assembly of vehicles in North America.