Bush, Canadian and Mexican counterparts, defend free trade

The leaders of Canada and Mexico joined with US President George W Bush on Tuesday in defending the free trade agreement between their countries, warning of the perils of a protectionist approach. ( dpa )

Bush met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in New Orleans, Louisiana, as Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to fault the North American Free Trade Agreement for stealing American jobs.

Bush, Calderon and Harper touted the robust economic growth that has taken place since NAFTA was enacted in 1994, saying growth has more than doubled and that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created.

"Now is not the time to renegotiate NAFTA or walk away from NAFTA," Bush said. "Now is the time to make it work better for all of our people and now is the time to reduce trade barriers worldwide."

Senators Clinton and Obama have pledged to renegotiate the treaty as they campaign through US states hid hardest by the slumping US economy and the loss of jobs, seeking stiffer environmental and labour standards.

Calderon and Harper urged the next president, whoever it may be, to look to the future of NAFTA rather than return to the past negotiations. Calderon warned that protectionist views would be a step backwards for the US and global economy.

"This is not the time to even think about amending it or canceling it," Calderon said. "This is the time to strengthen and reinvigorate this free trade agreement among our three countries."

"My preference is not to renegotiate what we discussed in the past," Harper added.

The presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain, supports NAFTA and is a strong backer of free trade.

Bush also got help from his northern and southern counterparts on his latest fight over congressional refusal to approve a free trade agreement his administration completed with Colombia.

Harper said his country was working to negotiate a similar accord with Colombia and Calderon pointed out that Mexico and Colombia were already trading freely.

"It's extremely important, I think, to bear in mind that when you provide more opportunities for trade in the Latin American region, there will be many more opportunities for prosperity," Calderon said.

Bush said a congressional failure to pass an agreement would amount to shunning a close ally in Colombia and embolden leftist leaders like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is working to diminish US influence in Latin America.

Bush said House speaker Nancy Pelosi's refusal to set a date for vote was "a bad decision on her part."

"And it's bad for our hemisphere to have the United States of America turn its back on a mutual friend like Colombia," Bush said.

The Democratic-controlled Congress believes the accord does not do enough to protect union leaders who have been violently targetted and in some cases murdered by right-wing paramiliary groups.

Georgia approves draft agreement with largest oil company in Eastern Europe
Georgia approves draft agreement with largest oil company in Eastern Europe
Kazakhstan decreases exports to Belarus year-on-year
Kazakhstan decreases exports to Belarus year-on-year
Head of parliamentary committee talks agricultural activity in liberated Azerbaijani lands
Head of parliamentary committee talks agricultural activity in liberated Azerbaijani lands
Loading Bars
Latest
Canada to join U.S. mission to moon
29 years later: Azerbaijan marks tragic date of Khojaly genocide
ByteDance agrees to $92 million privacy settlement with U.S. TikTok users
Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 2.5 mln - Johns Hopkins University
Georgia approves draft agreement with largest oil company in Eastern Europe
Kazakhstan decreases exports to Belarus year-on-year
UAE resumes issuing travel visa for Iranians
Head of parliamentary committee talks agricultural activity in liberated Azerbaijani lands
AZAL to start to make special flights from Baku to Kyiv
OSCE PA Vice-President names Azerbaijan's challenges in post-Karabakh conflict period
Khojaly genocide - criminal act committed against mankind, against humanity, MP says
Azerbaijani FM, Israeli ambassador discuss prospects for development of bilateral co-op (PHOTO)
Russian journalists horrified by Azerbaijani Aghdam city's destruction
Netherlands Trading House may open in Azerbaijan
Supplies of 'Iskander' missiles to Armenia must be stopped – Russian expert
Baku hosts meeting with Pakistani military delegation
Pakistani FWO talks interest to co-op with Azerbaijan in infrastructure projects
Azerbaijani president receives Signify representatives via video format (PHOTO)
OSCE MG should support post-conflict rehabilitation of Azerbaijani territories - OSCE PA VP
Chairperson-in-Office of OSCE looks to visit Azerbaijan
Italy's share in Azerbaijani oil export in 2020 disclosed
Azerbaijani satellites to provide HD broadcasting to West Africa region
Hungary-Azerbaijan cooperation on ACG, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline can expand to new areas
Khazar Consortium opens again tender for service maintenance in Turkmenistan
Conversations ongoing on potential projects between Turkmenistan, UK
Uzbekistan’s fiscal policy to continue supporting economic recovery - Fitch Ratings
Payment card turnover in Azerbaijan continues to grow
Azerbaijan’s crude oil export to China up
Hungary eyes including Azerbaijani gas in country’s future energy mix
Azerbaijani market of great interest to Russian Perm region's business circles
Azerbaijan reports 142 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan discloses volume of foreign trade operations with Russia in Jan. 2021
Azerbaijan to use new 'cloud' technologies in audit during 2021 - Chamber of Auditors
Volume of loans issued by Georgian commercial banks down
Uzbek-Korean JSC announces tender for transport services
OSCE ready to deploy mediation missions for sustained peace in Azerbaijani liberated territories - president
CNPC in Turkmenistan opens tender for provision of gas leakage detection services
Fitch projects share of state-owned banks in Uzbekistan to reduce
"Sign of Khojaly" film demonstrated within "Justice for Khojaly" campaign (VIDEO)
OIC SecGen pays tribute to those who lost their lives in Khojaly genocide
Reconstruction of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands to deepen economic co-op with Hungary
Moderna sees $18.4 billion in sales from COVID-19 vaccine in 2021
Swiss agriculture technologies to be introduced in Kazakhstan's Almaty
Tesla short-sellers sitting on $3.5 billion weekly profits
Azerbaijani FM receives Pakistani FWO's Director General (PHOTO)
Resident of Azerbaijan's liberated Jabrayil district injured as result of mine explosion
Georgia creating new council to develop state enterprise reform strategy
Uzbekistan approves investment agreements on construction of wind farms in Bukhara region
Iran's raw steel exports shrink
Dutch company sets up concrete production plant in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent region
Georgian Railway to resume passenger transportation
Azerbaijan records growth of debit cards in January 2021
Azerbaijani company signs contracts for transportation of aluminum products to Turkey
Russia increasing supplies to Turkey along BTK railway
Main share of Czech investments in Georgia falls on energy sector
Oil refining volumes decrease in Kazakhstan year-on-year
Azerbaijan communications ministry working on stabilizing Internet in districts
Azerbaijan’s Azerishig, MERKABA-SOFT companies sign contract
Payments of Azerbaijani insurance companies double
Data on cotton yarn sales on Turkmenistan’s exchange in Jan.2021
Kazakhstan's national oil&gas company reports lower annual oil transportation volumes
Kazakhstan's KazMunayGas sees decrease in 2020 oil extraction
Azerbaijan sees Jan.2021 growth of national currency deposits in local banks
Georgia plans to hinder construction of plastics recycling plant in Kutaisi FIZ
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for February 25
AzTV will investigate historical assasinations (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan eyes to host meeting of Turkic Council countries' energy ministers in 2022
Zarif urges South Korea to release Iran's blocked assets
UK eager to restart U.S. talks on tariff removal
Saipem expects capex to rise in 2021
Central Bank of Azerbaijan announces winner of tender for survey on household plans
Central Bank of Azerbaijan shares data on revenues of Azerbaijani insurance companies
Number of trucks crossing through Iran's Jolfa border checkpoint revealed
German companies eye 'green economy' dev't projects in Kazakhstan
Kazakh investors interested in several sectors of Turkish economy
Assets of pawnshops and microcredit organizations in Uzbekistan increase
Kazakhstan's major copper company reveals its 2021 production guidance
Turkey's activity on Turkmenistan’s exchange in Jan.2021
Azerbaijani president takes part in ceremony of providing families of martyrs, disabled with apartments (PHOTO)
Details of import-export via Iran's Bushehr Province announced
President Ilham Aliyev attends opening of Shaghan Rehabilitation Pension (PHOTO)
KAZ Minerals provides update on Baimskaya Project in co-op with Russia
Military coup attempt in Armenia - PM inviting supporters to Republic Square
Uzbek agriculture ministry to create system to monitor irrigated lands
Pashinyan dismisses head of General Staff
Armenian General Staff demands Pashinyan's resignation
Azerbaijani banks' foreign currency demand down
Azerbaijan privatizes several district public properties via auctions
Turkmenistan prepares to host transport conference for landlocked developing countries
Bakcell launches internet package for online education and work
Iran starts exporting products from Tombak port
Georgian PM appoints Vice PMs
Extraction from Iran's South Pars gas field exceeds plan
Kazakhstan's KAZ Minerals reports increase in revenues
TOP-5 trading partners of Azerbaijan in Jan. 2021
Georgia to extend grace period for auto importers
Saipem’s capex down, net financial debt up in 2020
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary opens tender to repair vehicles
Saipem sees decrease in revenues due to slowdown of projects
Barclays lifts 2021 oil price outlook on tighter U.S. supply view
All news