This is from US News. Typically there is zilch about Canada. No mention of the Northwest Passage Issue. Bush re-affirmed his denial of Canadian sovereignty. Apparently the US was wanting to have its narcs work in Mexico but Mexicans worry abouot their sovereignty too. There is no mention of the 30 top business leaders at the meeting. The protests don't merit a mention either. So much for the free press. Free of most significant information.
Tensions Overshadow North American Summit
By Thomas Omestad
To the Mexicans, it was emblematic of the six-plus years of the Bush administration: As the leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada concluded their summit in Montebello, Canada, on Tuesday, the first question by reporters was not about North American affairs but, rather, about Iraq. The question earned a lengthy, detailed response from President Bush, who defended his handling of the Iraqi government's weakness. But his replies to questions about North America tended to be shorter and more general.
The Bush administration's preoccupation with Iraq and the war on terrorism loomed over the summit, even though it was not the focus of the two-day discussion among the three North American countries at a log-framed resort château on the Ottawa River.
The talks mostly covered border security, economic competitiveness, product safety, environment, and energy. Sovereignty claims over the Arctic, peacekeeping in Afghanistan, and global health issues also came up. And yet, this was a summit hindered by distractions. Hurricane Dean, slamming into Mexican coastal areas, forced President Felipe Calderón to hurry up the meetings and leave Canada earlier than planned. And lurking beneath the surface was continued Mexican disappointment with an administration that took office characterizing the U.S.-Mexican relationship as central to its international agenda. With a border-state politician who speaks some Spanish in the Oval Office, many Mexicans had anticipated a new closeness in the often prickly relations between the two neighbors.
But the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq all concentrated the administration's energies on countering terrorism and beefing up security rather than forging a more open border—and relationship—with Mexico. Mexico's initially ham-handed reaction to the attacks also served to cool some of the early ardor. "It turned out differently," Peter Hakim, president of the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue, said of Mexico's expectations for a warmer relationship with the United States.
This summer Mexican hopes for immigration reform in the United States were also dashed, as Congress blocked a plan promoted by Bush that would have increased border security but also expanded guest-worker programs and ways to gain legal U.S. citizenship. After the legislation died in June, Calderón called the failure a "grave error" that would hurt both the Mexican and the American economies. He also criticized a 700-mile border-security fence being constructed with the support of Bush and Congress.
Though Calderón, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is conservative, the Mexican leader has been careful to limit Mexican expectations of Bush and to focus on pragmatic avenues for cooperation. Says Hakim, "Whatever the disappointments and differences, Mexico wants some things from the United States." Bush offered U.S. help for storm damage.
Contrary to some predictions, a U.S.-Mexican plan to fight narcotrafficking was not finalized at the summit. Mexico, concerned with erosion of sovereignty, does not want U.S. military personnel performing antidrug operations on its soil—operations that have accelerated under Calderón. But the two countries are discussing a package of hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid that might include surveillance technology, training, and higher salaries for law-enforcement officers in Mexico.
"We're working hard to get a plan ready," said Bush. Calderón said Mexico wants more surveillance on the U.S. side of the border in part to halt the flow of high-powered American weapons to violent drug gangs. The eventual plan is likely to face serious opposition in Congress, where skepticism about the value of another antidrug program—Plan Colombia—has been growing.
Leaders of the three countries will convene again next year in Texas.