Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called for greater unity and integration in North America on Monday as he is set to meet with his Canadian and U.S. counterparts in the wake of Britain’s historic vote in favor of breaking off from the European Union.
The Brexit Debate
"The purpose of this visit is to renew our bilateral relationship, to give it new life, to find ways to advance the prosperity and competitiveness of North America," Peña Nieto said in Quebec City ahead of the North American leaders summit, dubbed the “Three Amigos” meeting.
"I think what is happening elsewhere in the world invites us to strengthen our strategic alliance and especially to be much more inclusive," he said in response to questions about Brexit, according to AFP.
The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU has shocked the world and plunged global markets into a tailspin, including a slump in the Mexican peso and drop in the Canadian dollar.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed Peña Nieto on Monday evening at a dinner in Toronto, where the Canadian leader highlighted the shared economic interests between the two countries, Canada’s CBC reported.
The three partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement are set to discuss matters of trade in the face of the pending and controversial Trans Pacific Partnership, described by critics as “NAFTA on steroids.”
According to a survey released by the Angus Reid Institute on Monday, only one in four Canadians see NAFTA as good for the country, while more than one third would like to see it renegotiated. An Angus Reid poll back in 2012 found that just over half of respondents in the U.S. thought that the country should “do whatever necessary” to renegotiate or leave NAFTA.
Trudeau, Peña Nieto and U.S. President Barack Obama are also set to announce plans for a new regional renewable energy plan, according to the White House. They also plan to reveal future plans for the war on drugs aimed at tackling heroin production, and are expected to address questions regarding the implications of the U.S. presidential eleciton on Canada and Mexico.
Peña Nieto’s visit to Canada, which comes as Ottawa is poised to announce eliminating visa requirements for Mexican tourists, marks the first time a Mexican president has visited the country in six years.