Sign up for GZERO's daily newsletter

{{ subpage.title }}

U.S. President Joe Biden with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Biden in Mexico, Japan's Kishida on tour, Ukraine’s eastern flank

What’s on the agenda at the “Three Amigos Summit”?

A meeting of North American leaders known as the "Three Amigos Summit" kicked off in Mexico City on Monday with US President Joe Biden, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, set to meet face-to-face for the first time since Nov. 2021 to chart a path forward on a range of thorny issues. Biden was greeted by his Mexican counterpart a day after making his first visit to the US southern border since becoming president. Indeed, the two have plenty to talk about. While Washington usually calls the shots when it comes to the US-Mexico relationship, AMLO will be looking to earn some concessions from Biden, who is desperately seeking help in dealing with a chaotic situation at the US southern border. This comes after Biden announced in recent days that Mexico had agreed to take in tens of thousands of Nicaraguan, Haitian, and Cuban migrants denied entry into the US in exchange for more work visas for Mexican laborers. Still, the White House might ask for more: While AMLO has agreed to take in an extra 30,000 migrants per month from these countries (plus Venezuela), some 90,000 people from these four places sought to cross the US southern border in November alone. Stopping the drug smuggling trade from Mexico into the US will also be high on the agenda as fentanyl overdoses continue to devastate American communities. Much of the remaining conversation will center on the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal: Ottawa and Washington have accused AMLO of exerting excessive state control over the energy market. Meanwhile, Canada-US ties have been strained since the Biden administration’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act, passed last summer, included a slew of tax breaks for buying US-made electric vehicles, which Ottawa says will cripple its car manufacturing industry.

Read more Show less

A protester wears a mask in the shape of corn during an anti-GMO rally in Mexico City.

REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya

What We're Watching: US-Mexico corn fight, Chinese crackdown

US and Mexico spar over corn

Mexico and the United States are on a collision course over an issue of serious economic concern to farmers on both sides of the border: Mexico’s imports of US corn. Mexico is the world’s second-largest importer of corn (after China), and much of it comes from the country’s giant neighbor to the north. Before he became president in 2018, candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador promised to halt the import of genetically modified corn by January 2024 over fears that GMO seeds would threaten Mexico’s own corn varieties. A total ban on GMO corn would cut US corn exports to Mexico by half, with major fallout for the US agriculture sector. The Trump and Biden administrations have both tried to bargain with López Obrador over this question, in part by reminding him that US corn is a major source of Mexico’s animal feed and that the quantities sold by the US would be impossible to replace. But so far, Mexico’s president hasn’t budged. With the deadline for action looming, Washington threatened legal action on Monday under the terms of the USMCA trade deal, which was signed by the US, Mexico, and Canada in 2020.

Read more Show less
Annie Gugliotta

USMCA faces its biggest test

Mexico’s protectionist energy policies have caused a spat with its closest trade partners — the US and Canada — that appears to be heading into a high-stakes arbitration process.

Read more Show less

What We’re Watching: Australia buys South Korean weapons, Canada-US trade wars, will Libyans get to vote?

Australia splurges on South Korean weapons. Australia has signed a deal to buy $717 million worth of weapons from South Korea in order to upgrade its military capabilities to counter Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific. During a visit to Australia, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the agreement has “nothing to do with our position over China,” likely an attempt to keep temperatures low in his neck of the woods, particularly as he looks to bridge relations with the North before he leaves office in March. Though the contract with Seoul is modest in size, it’s only the latest recent step taken by Australia to strengthen its military as relations with China continue to deteriorate. Earlier this year, it signed the AUKUS defense pact with the US and UK, which will allow Canberra to build nuclear-powered submarine capabilities, and also plans to buy dozens of American-made Black Hawk helicopters to up its game. Australia is indeed in a pickle: it wants to build a bulwark against China in the Indo-Pacific, while also maintaining good(ish) relations with the economic behemoth, by far its largest trade partner.

Read more Show less

Flags of the U.S., Canada and Mexico fly next to each other in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. August 29, 2018.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

What We’re Watching: Three Amigos reunion, Taliban are broke

The "Three Amigos" at the White House. On Thursday, Joe Biden will host the first US-Mexico-Canada summit since 2016, when Donald Trump scrapped the regular "Three Amigos" gathering, as it's known. This year the trilateral summit will focus on deepening economic cooperation among the three members of NAF— sorry, the "USMCA" free trade area. But expect Biden to get an earful from Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about the "Buy American" aspects of his Build Back Better agenda, which could hurt Canadian and Mexican exporters. In particular, the Canadians and Mexicans are worried about Biden's plan to give tax credits to US-made electric vehicles. It's another example of how green policies can often raise red flags about protectionism as countries vie for leadership in climate-friendly technologies. We'll be watching to see how the three leaders iron out their differences, and also whether Steve, Chevy, and Martin show up for laughs.

Read more Show less

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) meets US President Joe Biden in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington DC, during his visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly. Picture date: Tuesday September 21, 2021.

REUTERS/PA Images

What We’re Watching: UK wants to be North American, Sudanese foil coup, Haitian refugee crisis grows

Can the UK join a North American trade deal? The acronym for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement was never all that elegant, but now London wants to throw two more letters into that soup. That's right, the UK wants to join USMCA, the trade pact brokered by the Trump administration in 2020 as an update to the 1990s-era NAFTA agreement. London had hoped that Brexit would free it up to ink a bilateral free trade deal with the US, but as those talks have stalled in recent months, PM Boris Johnson now wants to plug his country into the broader three-party deal. The fact that the UK already has deals with Canada and Mexico should help, in principle. But it would doubtless be a complex negotiation. And there's at least one huge hurdle: US officials are reportedly unaware of any mechanism at all for bringing aboard additional countries.

Read more Show less
Trump's Foreign Policy Legacy: The Wins | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Quick Take: Trump's foreign policy legacy - the wins

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. It is the last day of the Trump administration. Most of you, probably pretty pleased about that. A majority of Americans, though not a large majority, but certainly a majority of people around the world. And given that that's a good half of the folks that follow what we do at GZERO, that counts to a majority. And look, I ought to be clear, when we talk about the Trump administration and their foreign policy legacy, "America First" was not intended to be popular outside of the United States. So, it's not surprising that most people are happy to see the back of this president. But I thought what I would do would be to go back four years after say, what are the successes? Is there anything that Trump has actually done, the Trump administration has done that we think is better off in terms of foreign policy for the United States and in some cases for the world than it would have been if he hadn't been there? And I actually came up with a list. So, I thought I'd give it to you.

Read more Show less
Ian Explains: A Look Back At Trump's Foreign Policy Record | GZERO Media

A look back At Trump's foreign policy record

Ian Bremmer turns back the clock to asses President Trump's foreign policy record over the past four years. Spoiler alert—he actually thinks 45 has had some significant wins in those categories.

Watch this episode of GZERO World: How a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily

Latest