North American leaders sign bold clean energy pledge

Jul 09, 2016, 07:55
North American leaders sign bold clean energy pledge

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto echoed Obama's comments, saying "Isolationism is not a road towards progress".

Mr Obama was speaking at a summit in Ottawa with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, aimed at strengthening economic ties between North American countries.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will join Obama in announcing a continent-wide climate partnership aimed at generating half of North America's electricity from non-carbon sources by 2025. Obama said ordinary people with concerns about global trade "have a legitimate gripe with globalization". Obama didn't name Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but he alluded to Trump's rhetoric about barring Muslims from the US and building a wall along the border to Mexico.

"You shouldn't think that is representative of how the American people think", Obama said, adding that illegal immigration from Mexico to the U.S.is at it's lowest level since the 1970s.

And while not on the official agenda, White House aides said they also expected the three leaders to discuss the financial aftershocks from last week's Brexit vote, a referendum in which the United Kingdom chose to withdraw from the European Union.

His visit to Canada marks the first time since 1995 a sitting USA leader has visited the government body.

Canada's global trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, noted that the meeting of the three pro-trade leaders was taking place at a pivotal moment. Mexico also committed to joining the United States and Canada in tackling methane emissions.

He says that despite their differences the USA can not ask for a better friend or ally than Canada.

"Cooperation pays off. Working together always beats going alone", Trudeau had said.

Sajjan said Trudeau will outline the specifics of Canada's contribution to lead one of the four new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battalions, comprised of about 1,000 troops each, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit. Trudeau said Canada will lift visa requirements for Mexican visitors as of December 2016, while Pena Nieto agreed to open Mexican markets to Canadian beef.

Obama said throughout the news conference that while the global economic system had left some people behind, and though some of the anti-trade talk in the United Kingdom and in the US was based on legitimate concerns, finding solutions takes time and hard work.

Efforts to curb global warming were expected to be a big part of the summit.

Obama says Trudeau has brought new energy and leadership to Canada and to the everlasting alliance between the two countries. Trudeau offered his same boilerplate response that he'll work with whichever candidate American voters send to the White House. "The notion that we would somehow stop now on what has been a tradition of attracting talent and strivers and dreamers from all around the world that would rob us of the thing that is most special about America", Obama said.

According to Obama, the key to developing an advantageous economy for everybody, the world needs more interconnected actions from every country. "It's enhanced the national security of all of our countries".

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