U.S. announces new ‘trusted traveler’ agreement with Canada and Mexico

8/6/15 Tucson News Now

shutterstock_182486318The Department of Homeland Security is partnering with Public Safety Canada and the Secretariat of Governance of Mexico to outline the first steps in the creation of a North American Trusted Traveler network, according to a recent DHS release. To help make it easier for eligible travelers in all three countries to apply for expedited screening programs.

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security and his counterparts in Canada and Mexico signed the agreement for this new program on July 10.  The hope is to promote legitimate travel across the continent.

“Trusted Traveler programs are a vital tool to facilitate international travel and trade,” said Secretary Johnson, in the release. “I am pleased to work together with Canada and Mexico to lay the groundwork for expedited arrival screening for pre-approved travelers from all three countries.  We are committed to enhancing the travel experience through our risk-based approach to aviation security, and this expanded partnership will benefit travelers all across North America.”

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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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EVENT THIS AFTERNOON: NAFTA & the Strengthening of the Mexican Economy

120px-North_America_(orthographic_projection).svgWHEN: TODAY, June 29, 2:00-3:30pm

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

A live webcast will be available here.

Two decades ago, Canada, Mexico, and the United States created a continental economy. Since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico has lived through a currency crisis, a democratic transition, and the rising challenge of Asian manufacturing. Many of the dynamics of North America today, from Mexico’s reform agenda to continental concerns about competitiveness, have their roots in the conditions that produced NAFTA, in the agreement itself, and in the tremendous transformations it wrought. Looking back at that period provides context for understanding today’s reforms. Today, Mexico’s competitiveness agenda, championed by President Enrique Peña Nieto and widely supported by the Mexican Congress, includes specific actions oriented toward promoting larger inflows of foreign investment by opening strategic economic sectors to private participation. This package of reforms would bring a sweeping transformation of the economy.

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to an event on NAFTA and the Mexican economy. Jaime Serra Puche will present his book NAFTA and the Building of a Region. An Essay from the Mexican Perspective and Lucy Conger will present her paper on Mexican competitiveness, A Mandate for Mexico. Ambassador Carla A. Hills will provide commentary on both publications, in relation to the broader subjects of NAFTA and the Mexican economy.

Speakers

Jaime Serra Puche
Chairman, SAI Law and Economics

Ambassador Carla A. Hills
Chair and CEO, Hills & Company, International Consultants

Lucy Conger
Independent Journalist

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Addressing Global Energy Demand in North America

1/22/2015 The Wagner Review

By Maria Landa, Former Mexico Institute Intern

environment - energy - light bulb with paddy riceBy 2030, global energy demand will increase by 41 percent due to rapid population and economic growth. Between 2012 and 2035, global population is projected to grow by 1.7 billion and real (or inflation-adjusted) income will more than double. In order to promote more energy efficient activities that curb greenhouse gas emissions and slow growth related to demand, both developed and emerging economies have placed environment and climate policies high on their political agendas. Yet, the latest scenario by the International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook estimates that in 2040, oil and gas will remain the backbone of energy supply, making up nearly half of the total energy supply – with the remainder coming from coal and low-carbon fuels.

Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. will play critical roles in meeting the demand, tackling pressure on the global energy system, and contributing to energy security. With the abundance of U.S. natural gas and oil reserves, Canada’s oil sands and Mexico’s landmark constitutional energy reform (which opened its energy sector to private investment for the first time), North America is now considered an energy superpower. Leading think tanks and political leaders are urging the U.S. not only to strengthen ties with its North American neighbors, but also to make the trilateral relationship a priority in U.S. policy. The Council on Foreign Relations recently released a report led by former CIA Director David Petraeus and former World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, indicating that increased production and innovation in the energy sector coupled with China’s labor and shipping costs, boost North America’s global competitive advantage.

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Harper Postpones Three Amigos Summit Amid Chilly Relations with U.S. and Mexico

1/15/2015 The Globe and Mail

NAFTAPrime Minister Stephen Harper has postponed the North American leaders’ summit with U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at a time when relations with both leaders are chilly.

The unexpected move allows Mr. Harper to avoid an awkward side-by-side news conference with Mr. Obama at a February summit that all three governments were expecting would be dominated by the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline – now at the top of the political agenda in Washington.

New Publication: Integrating North America’s Energy: A Call for Action

By Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

stock-footage-montage-of-clean-energy-fossil-fuel-pollutionIn February 2014, the leaders of the three North American nations met in Toluca, Mexico, and determined a range of measures to enhance regional competitiveness, including new initiatives on transportation infrastructure, borders and research cooperation. Furthermore, the leaders agreed that, before the end of 2014, a North American Energy Ministers Meeting should take place to “define areas for strong trialteral cooperation on energy.” What these areas might be is still unannounced, but with the successful passage of energy reform legislation through Mexico’s Congress in December 2013, and secondary legislation in August 2014, many of the previously existing barriers to cooperation on oil and gas markets have now disappeared.

The prospects for an energy abundant North America are compelling. Combined, the three countries’ oil production compares favorably with those of the Middle East. As the United States surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer, and with both Mexico and Canada on the verge of significant increases in production, North America’s long-standing position as a hydrocarbons importer will then be reversed. The outlook for North American energy is therefore bright, and the transformation in the regional energy paradigm has been dramatic. However, to achieve the full potential of this newly discovered regional energy wealth, it will be necessary to more fully integrate the three countries’ energy markets. This paper argues that, in order to make North American energy independence a reality, there are several main areas that require attention from the three governments, working together, to make the transition to an integrated North American energy system.

Read the report here.

Confronting Challenges to North America’s Energy Future

12/12/2014 Duncan Wood and Rachel Bronson via Forbes.com

stock-footage-montage-of-clean-energy-fossil-fuel-pollutionNorth America is fast becoming the epicenter of a transformation in global energy. Canada, Mexico and the United States are bringing to market huge new energy resources that were too expensive or politically risky to exploit until recently.  According to the Energy Information Administration, North American oil and gas growth is expected to exceed all of OPEC’s over the next decade.

But despite North America’s huge energy potential, the United States, Mexico, and Canada all face serious obstacles in getting their energy resources to market. Skills gaps and low public support for energy infrastructure stand in the way of a potentially rich North American energy future. As the three North American energy ministers prepare to meet in Washington on December 15th, they must develop innovative policy solutions to overcome these barriers and create the necessary support structure to fully realize North America’s emerging energy boom.

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