6/29/2016 The Hill
By Earl Anthony Wayne & Jodi Bond
On June 29, President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau, and President Peña Nieto will meet in Ottawa for a North American Leaders Summit (NALS). While often ignored or criticized, America’s relations with Canada and Mexico touch the daily lives of more U.S. citizens than any other relationships in the world. Positive, productive relations among neighbors will help generate the well-being and economic growth our citizens seek. What’s more important, we can now justifiably say that the peoples of the three countries are partners in ways that have never before been seen. In Ottawa, North America’s leaders can show the way to a more prosperous continent and seek to partner with the many stakeholders who stand to gain, especially the private sector that created today’s interconnected North American economy.
Despite the critics in the news, the U.S. has tens of millions of North America stakeholders. They range from the businesses and their employees who build and sell across the continent to the civil society groups who champion shared causes, and to the many citizens with family and heritage ties that cross our borders. These citizens have a direct interest in how well North America’s neighbors work together to grow our economies, guard our societies, and protect our shared environment. The work of the three leaders and government teams will be strengthened if they bring these stakeholders closer to the process of defining what Mexico, Canada and the U.S. do together.