Little Progress On North American Ties

The leaders of Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. tried to put the best face on their Mar. 23 meeting at President George W. Bush's ranch. But deep divisions remain. In a press conference, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin dashed any hopes that Canada might cooperate in a ballistic missile defense system, a U.S. military priority. For his part, Bush promised neither a settlement of the decades-old dispute over alleged Canadian subsidies for softwood lumber nor an imminent lifting of the U.S. ban on Canadian beef imports. And he offered Mexican President Vicente Fox no assurances that Congress will back a proposed guest-worker plan for Mexicans. That left the three to herald an expanded program to facilitate trade by simplifying customs procedures.

Edited by Rose Brady

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