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Economy, migration and coronavirus on the agenda of the North America summit, says Mexico

Flags of the USA, Canada and Mexico flutter side by side in Detroit, Michigan, USA, 29 August 2018. REUTERS / Rebecca Cook / File Photo

Mexico City, Nov. 15 (Reuters) – The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada will hold a summit this week to discuss North America’s economic integration, immigration and the coronavirus pandemic, said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday.

Lopez Obrador is due to hold talks with US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the first personal meeting of the heads of state and government of the three nations since 2016 in Washington on Thursday. Only Trudeau was last in office.

“There are three themes: economic integration, migration and health related to COVID and cooperation in dealing with the pandemic,” Lopez Obrador said at a regular press conference.

The Mexican president said labor mobility in the region was also on the agenda and reiterated that he did not intend to discuss a proposed electricity market reform in Mexico that has caused concern in the US administration.

Lopez Obrador unveiled his plan to amend the constitution to give Mexico’s state-owned electricity company priority over private investments in the energy market on the grounds that previous governments had manipulated the sector in favor of private interests.

Critics fear that it violates Mexico’s obligations under the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA).

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O, Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell and Mexico’s head of migration would be on the Mexican delegation, Lopez Obrador added.

Lopez Obrador said he will travel to Washington on Wednesday and return early on Friday.

Canada later said Monday that its Secretary of State Melanie Joly flew to Mexico City to speak with Ebrard ahead of the Washington summit.

During the talks, Joly would highlight the importance of working together on North American competitiveness and shared challenges like climate change, her administration said.

Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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