US, Canada, and Mexico leaders meet to talk energy and trade


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks next to US President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon during a joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC following the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) on April 2, 2012.


Yuri Gripas

The leaders of the US, Mexico and Canada met Monday in a summit at the White House to discuss energy and trade as gas prices continue to soar.

Both Mexico and Canada are major oil exporters to the United States, with the latter the largest supplier of crude to US refineries.

The Canadian and American leaders discussed the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would see oil sent directly from Alberta's oilfields to refineries on the US Gulf Coast, reported the AFP.

The White House blocked the plan pending further environmental review - a move that sent the Canadian Prime Minister to China last month in search of other oil markets.

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According to the BBC, boosting exports were also on the top of the summit agenda as Canada and Mexico make up the largest markets for US exports and vice versa.

"Canada places the highest value on the friendship and partnership among our three countries," said the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, according to PostMedia News. "We form one of the world's largest free-trade zones, which has been of great benefit to all our nations."

The summit meeting also raised issues surrounding Mexico's drug cartels and the flows of weapons and drugs between the two countries.

"Criminal gangs, [and] narco-traffickers pose a threat to each of our nations, and each of our nations has a responsibility to meet that threat, " said Mr Obama according to the BBC.

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"We've sped up the delivery of equipment and assistance to support those efforts."

According to the Associated Press, the "three amigos" summit was meant to take place in November in Hawaii but was postponed after Mexican President Felipe Calderon's top deputy was killed in a helicopter crash.