President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met at the Mexico City Summit as part of a formal meeting to discuss modernizing NAFTA . The meeting of the Three Amigos comes as Mexico negotiates with the United States, Canada and the European Union to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The meeting at the Palace of the Republic began on Wednesday morning with a small group of press members that included US news anchor Erin Burnett, CNN correspondent Poppy Harlow and Carlos Pascual, the secretary-general of the Organization of American States.
The remaining leaders, including Canada’s Justin Trudeau and, this year, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, spoke separately with the press, revealing few details on the status of talks.
Trudeau called the summit “extremely effective” but said there were still a lot of “difficult issues” to be resolved.
Peña Nieto struck a moderate tone, saying he wanted to secure a “new NAFTA which will be of important benefit to Mexico and to all the other countries that make up this agreement, which is a great text but also one that is still had up to date.”
Trudeau and Peña Nieto spoke about updating NAFTA and other major policy issues, including climate change and women’s rights in the workplace. Trudeau also addressed trade tariffs Trump announced on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the meeting “productive,” but was unwilling to comment on any of the topics touched on by the leaders.
The meeting lasted throughout most of the day and ended at 5:30 p.m. CNN’s Drew Griffin reported that the leaders had joked around about NAFTA, called it a “rearranged dinner,” and talked about the issue of masculinity, saying it needed a “high-five.”
The Three Amigos plan to get together again soon in Montreal, Quebec.
Many lawmakers in Congress and the media have expressed concerns regarding the Trump administration’s past actions on NAFTA and are urging NAFTA leaders to negotiate in good faith.