The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Canadian Senators Engage with their Mexican Counterparts on the Need to Strengthen Canada-Mexico Bilateral Cooperation
March 20, 2017
On March 8 and 9, 2017, the four members of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade (the committee) met with members of the Senate of the United Mexican States (Mexico). The Canadian delegation was composed of Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the committee, Senator Percy E. Downe, Deputy Chair of the committee, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo and Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain.
The committee’s previous work on Canada-Mexico relations underscored that the North American relationship continues to be of primary importance to Canadian interests, but that it has yet to reach its full economic, political and trade potential. In particular, the committee emphasized Mexico’s fundamental significance to Canada as a bilateral and hemispheric partner beyond their shared commitments together with the United States in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
In Mexico City, the Canadian senators engaged in a productive dialogue with members of Mexico’s Senate North American Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. They discussed in particular the relevance of the Canada-Mexico bilateral relationship in light of recent developments – both on the continental and global stage – that have taken place with potential implications for the two North American partners.
The visit gave Canadian and Mexican parliamentarians the opportunity to strengthen the bilateral dialogue on issues of common concern. The initiative was exceptionally well received by the Mexican senators, who thought that the bilateral relationship would benefit from keeping that dialogue ongoing and more frequent.
The Canadian delegation also took the opportunity to meet with more than a dozen other Mexican stakeholders, government officials, academics and business people, as well as with Canada’s diplomatic corps in Mexico. These meetings allowed the delegation to hear the most up-to-date analysis of the political and economic implications of recent developments on Mexico and the North American relationship, including in relation to NAFTA, North American value chains, security and the rule of law. The Canadian delegation and its Mexican interlocutors also discussed different opportunities for deepening the Canada-Mexico bilateral relationship and that are in the best interest of the two countries.
“The discussions held in Mexico City confirm that there is room for Canada to engage further bilaterally with Mexico. In light of recent developments, the two countries should build on the multiple opportunities for an enhanced bilateral relationship.”
“In this regard, the committee’s ongoing study of Canada-Mexico relations remains timely. Canada and Mexico can benefit significantly from a more robust, cooperative bilateral relationship that focuses on issues of common concern, including with regard to trade, energy, security and the rule of law.”
- Senator Raynell Andreychuk, Chair of the committee
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