Thursday (November 25th): Biden Building (North) America Back Better

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Name? Joe Biden

Westphalian identity? US American

Age? 79

Why is he in the news? After a five year hiatus, President Biden hosted his counterparts from Canada and Mexico a week ago today for what has been dubbed the “Three Amigos” Summit. 

Why do we care? Other than its controversial nickname, we care about the summit because it emphasizes an increased desire among Western leaders to show some sense of economic and strategic solidarity amidst a rise in competition from Asia.

Why should you care? If you live in North America and care about the current challenges of trade and supply chains, migration, climate change and Covid19, you probably cared 10/10 a week ago. However, as Biden and his counterparts were intent on broadcasting diplomatic niceties rather than tackling trickier issues of trade disputes and surging migration, so at this point, you should care 4/10.

Who else cares? Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador de Mexico. For the first time in a long time, it seems AMLO will be treated with some respect by its Northern neighbour due to the leverage he’s gained as a result of pandemic-fueled migration from Latin America. In AMLO’s first in-person meeting with Biden, the American president emphasized that he viewed the US and Mexico as equals. In return, AMLO praised Biden’s plans to provide citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the States, stating: “No president in the history of the United States has expressed as you have such a clear and certain commitment to improve the situation of the migrants.” 

Any further comments? In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Prime Minister Trudeau and AMLO presented the only tangible outcome from the summit: a ‘return’ of vaccines lent to their respective countries by Biden earlier in the year; a ‘return’ via donation to countries in need in the Western Hemisphere. Stressing once again the source of North America’s stunted integration: agreements that allow for free goods and unfree people.

Sarah McFadden

General Coordinator