Engagement and Pragmatism: Towards an Enduring Canadian Strategy in Latin America

Paper by Eric Miller, Canadian Global Affairs Institute Fellow
Canadian Global Affairs Institute, January 2016

canada mexicoExecutive Summary

With a majority government and a different world view than his predecessor, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is re-making Canada’s foreign policy priorities and approaches. This paper offers some suggested approaches for engagement with Latin America. In the area of trade, the paper recommends seeking associate membership in the Pacific Alliance while continuing to strengthen linkages with Mexico within the North American commercial policy framework. It also suggests exploring the scope of what is possible with countries with which Canada does not have free trade agreements, especially Brazil and Ecuador. On the security front, the paper suggests that Canada needs a strategy for the Colombian peace process and to step up support to Mexico in strengthening the integrity of the southern border of North America. With regards to foreign policy, Canada needs a serious strategy for the new Cuba and needs to expand its diplomatic representation, namely in Paraguay and Bolivia. Finally, on the institution-building front Canada needs to secure senior positions at the Inter-American Development Bank and Organization of American States in order to help to drive institutional reform. Canada further needs a coherent strategy to attract in-bound foreign investment from Latin America. The region is rich with possibilities and a coherent engagement strategy can deliver much.

Read the paper…

 

North America needs to pivot…to North America

1/29/2016 The Globe and Mail

north americaBy Michael Kergin, Arturo Sarukhan and Anthony Wayne

The authors are former Canadian ambassador to the United States, former Mexican ambassador to the United States and former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, respectively.

The foreign ministers of North America will meet in Quebec City on Friday morning with little fanfare. Yet, at a time of growing global disorder and uncertainty, North America is the strategic foundation from which the three countries secure their prosperity and safety.

About $2.7-million in trade passes between the United States and its two neighbours each minute. Mexico and Canada are the two largest U.S. export markets, buying a third of all that Americans send abroad. Millions of jobs depend on the trade and investment networks across our region, and the potential for added growth is enormous. A recent study by McKinsey & Co. predicts that if we keep working to improve the competitiveness of our North American market, our economies could add $8-trillion (U.S.) in gross domestic product by 2040.

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Immigrant Employment and Earnings Growth in Canada and the U.S.: Evidence from Longitudinal Data

New Report from The National Bureau of Economic Research

By Neeraj Kaushal, Yao Lu, Nicole Denier, Julia Shu-Huah Wang, Stephen J. Trejo
September 2015

In this new report, the authors study the short-term trajectories of employment, hours worked, and real wages of immigrants in Canada and the U.S. using nationally representative longitudinal data sets covering 1996-2008. Models with person fixed effects show that on average immigrant men in Canada do not experience any relative growth in these three outcomes compared to men born in Canada. Immigrant men in the U.S., on the other hand, experience positive annual growth in all three domains relative to U.S. born men. This difference is largely on account of low-educated immigrant men, who experience faster or longer periods of relative growth in employment and wages in the U.S. than in Canada. The authors further compare longitudinal and cross-sectional trajectories and find that the latter over-estimate wage growth of earlier arrivals, presumably reflecting selective return migration.

Click here to access the study. 

THIS THURSDAY: Second Annual North American Energy Forum

mainWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9:00am-1:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP. 

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum.

9:00 am – Welcome
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute
Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
9:10 am – The Outlook for the Oil and Gas under Low Prices
Moderator: Jan Kalicki, Wilson Center Energy Fellow
Speakers: 

Marco Antonio Cota Valdivia, Director General of Exploration & Extraction of Hydrocarbons, Ministry of Energy
Sara Ladislaw, Director and Senior Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS
Shirley Neff, Senior Advisor, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

Issues:
• The outlook for North American oil and gas production
• Mexico’s oil and gas reform
• Canada’s oil sands after Keystone and low prices

10:30 am – Keynote Addresses

Cesar Hernandez Ochoa, Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity
Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy, Bureau of Energy Resources

11:30 am – Coffee and Snack Break

11:45 am – North American Electricity Futures
Moderator: Laura Dawson, Director, Canada Institute

Speakers:
Patrick Brown,  Director of US Affairs, Canadian Electricity Association
John Renehan, Director of Strategy, GE Power and Energy
Eduardo Andrade, Corporate Director, Iberdrola Mexico
Rafael Fernandez
Henry Gentenaar, Managing Partner,  MegaSolar

Issues:
• The development of Mexico’s electricity market
• Linking the region’s electricity grids and markets
• New technologies and ideas
• Smart grids and distributed generation

1:00 pm – Event Concludes

Click here to RSVP.

Upcoming Event! Second Annual North American Energy Forum

Energy Banner Color UPDATEDWHEN: Thursday, September 17, 9am-4pm

WHERE: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Click here to RSVP

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to the Second Annual North American Energy Forum
Featured Keynote Speakers: 
Mexican Under- Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons, Lourdes Melgar
Mexican Under-Secretary of Energy for Electricity, César Hernández Ochoa
The Forum will also feature panels on:
  • The Outlook for Oil and Gas under Low Prices
  • North American Electricity Futures
  • Low Carbon Futures
Over the past year, two new developments have left their mark on North America’s energy markets. The first concerns the impact of low oil prices on the region’s producers, with revenue affecting existing and future projects. Alongside the issue of price, we have seen major developments in all three North American countries. In Mexico, the first round of oil contracts is underway, with contracts awarded for exploration in shallow water in July of 2015. At the same time, we have seen major new investment plans unveiled in the electricity sector. In Canada, major infrastructure challenges and political change in the province of Alberta have altered the investment environment. In the US, the Interior Department proposal to open a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling has generated a highly charged debate, and new EPA rules on emissions have been the subject of analysis and legal challenge. The objective of the forum is to provide insight and draw attention to the challenges and opportunities that these new developments have created.

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View from Mexico: A roadmap for relations with Canada

6/30/2015 OpenCanada.org

Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.
Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.

Mexico’s Ambassador to Canada, Francisco Suárez Dávila, spoke to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development on June 2, discussing what he saw as priorities for the next North American Leaders’ Summit.

While he questioned why more Canadian students do not study in Mexico, and why Canada’s third-largest trading partner has been given such low priority for easing mobility,  “the good news,” he said, “is that Canada and Mexico, acting together, are making progress to reverse U.S. protectionist measures on COOL, working together on TPP negotiations, and there is also progress on visas.”

Going forward, here are the 10 topics Ambassador Suarez says are “essential for the North America agenda” — in his own words.

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A ‘COOL’ response from Canada and Mexico

6/19/15 The Hill

Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.
Photo by Flickr user I.A.M.

Country of origin labeling (COOL) has been contested by Canada and Mexico since December 2008, with the U.S.’s final appeal being denied by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the last several months. The finding of the WTO was that the COOL provisions discriminated against Canada, Mexico and other countries from a technical perspective because the information required of slaughterhouses and processors was substantially greater than that disseminated to the public. This translates to a conclusion that imported products received less favorable treatment than domestic products; thus the U.S. violated its WTO obligation.

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