Carin Zissis on CBC News


Carin Zissis on CBC News: The Agenda for The North American Leaders' Summit

"There’s a great deal of pressure on these three countries to now make some progress," said AS/COA Online's editor-in-chief.

AS/COA Online Editor-in-Chief Carin Zissis spoke to CBC News' Dwight Drummond on Canada Tonight about the North American Leaders' Summit, a meeting among U.S. President Joe Biden, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

"We’ve seen news in recent days that demonstrates a little bit of what this agenda is all about," said Zissis. "There’s a great deal of pressure in the United States around immigration, given that there have been a record number of apprehensions at the border. We expect also there to be a great focus on security issues. We just heard from the Canadian prime minister that all three leaders will be talking about economic issues and trade."

Zissis said the last time the three leaders met was in 2021. "We have to remember that the last time these three leaders came together, the pandemic was really going strong," said Zissis. "We’ve now had over a year happen, we’re looking at the potential for a recession. We had the crisis in Ukraine occur since then, and there’s a great deal of pressure on these three countries to now make some progress."

On the topic of Mexican energy policy, Zissis said that both Canada and the United States have raised concerns. "A big issue has been a concern around a turn to statism in Mexico. The president there, López Obrador, often referred to as AMLO, really takes a statist approach to energy policy," said Zissis. "As we know, Prime Minister Trudeau raised concerns about this before the trip. Canada has invested $13 billion in energy infrastructure, and $5 billion in Mexico for renewables from Canadian companies. We know that this is something Prime Minister Trudeau is feeling domestic pressure on. We know that U.S. companies as well have placed pressure on the White House on this issue, so we can be certain this is going to be top of the agenda."

She added, "That’s what the question is going to be: Are they going to be able to forge ahead and come to some of that agreement as they meet in the next couple of days? There are very complicated security issues that will be taking a lot of attention and are surrounding the backdrop to the summit. We know that in the United States, there is a huge amount of pressure around drug overdoses."

She emphasized that, "There were 108,000 drug overdoses in the United States and the majority of them were synthetic opioids—fentanyl has really driven that."

"From the Mexico side, there’s a concern about arms smuggling. About 70 percent of the weapons…that are captured by authorities in Mexico are traced back to the United States. Mexico has much more restrictive gun policy than the United States does. In fact, the Mexican government has brought two lawsuits against gun manufacturers in the United States," said Zissis. "Some of this violence we see in Mexico, from a Mexican standpoint, there’s a concern of weapons coming from the United States and fueling that as well."

Watch the interview.