President Obama heads to Mexico today to meet with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts for a summit of North American leaders that will be long on vision and short on anything concrete. In the midst of a punishing global economic downturn, that’s not bad.
Beyond the back slaps and photo opportunities, however, are growing tensions within the powerful trading bloc. Mexico is upset over delayed aid to fight violent drug cartels. Canada is steaming over Buy America provisions in U.S. laws that are hurting its exports. The United States isn’t happy with Mexico’s human-rights record.
Meeting in Guadalajara, the three will discuss common strategies for containing the swine flu, or H1N1 virus, which is expected to flare anew in the fall. They will also discuss boosting their respective economies, look for common ground on global climate-change negotiations and discuss ways to promote renewable energy sources.