North American Union Networking

Bush Seeks to Boost Canada, Mexico Ties

OTTAWA (AP) - President Bush, tending to relations with two border nations, will try to give a boost Monday to his partnerships with the like-minded leaders of Canada and Mexico.
Bush's two-day summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon is the third of its kind during his presidency. Each one has been meant to bolster an evolving compact - dubbed the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America - that serves as a way for the nations to team up on health, security and commerce.
Yet for Bush, the event also allows him to show he does not take his neighbors for granted; they are both vital trading partners and energy providers for the U.S.
"The message for Canada and Mexico is that despite the ongoing emphasis on Iraq and terrorism in U.S. foreign policy ... the U.S. is investing time and attention on relationships with our own region," said Chris Sands, a scholar of North American studies and senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The partnership of the countries is a framework for working out problems - not a deal that was ever intended to produce dramatic announcements. None are expected at the summit.

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