Leaders of US, Canada, Mexico pledge to promote prosperity for people throughout the hemisphere as they open wide-ranging talks on sidelines of North American Leaders Summit.

Leaders of the three nations pose for an official photo as their wives stand to the side in Mexico City.
Leaders of the three nations pose for an official photo as their wives stand to the side in Mexico City. (AP)

The leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada have sought to deepen regional economic integration and boost cooperation in clean energy in talks, despite simmering trade tensions.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador welcomed his US counterpart Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for three-way talks on Tuesday at the National Palace in Mexico City known as the "Three Amigos" summit.

Meeting Trudeau on the sidelines, Biden said the countries had "unlimited economic potential" when they worked together, promising to visit Canada in March for the first time as president.

"We should be the clean energy powerhouse of the world. And that's not hyperbole — I genuinely mean that," he added.

Strengthening regional supply chains would mean "that no one can arbitrarily hold us up or a pandemic in Asia cause us to not have access to critical elements that we need to do everything from build automobiles to so many other things," he said.

Biden revived the "Three Amigos" talks in 2021, seeking to restore normalcy to the three-way partnership after his predecessor Donald Trump shelved the regional summit.

But relations between Lopez Obrador and Biden have not been entirely smooth.

Mexico faces a formal trade complaint from the United States and Canada under a North American trade deal.

Washington and Ottawa say Lopez Obrador's push to boost the state's role in the energy industry hurts foreign investors and hinders the development of clean energy.

The White House announced ahead of the summit that the three countries would organise "the first-ever trilateral semiconductor forum" to shape government policies and increase investment in supply chains.

They will also expand resource mapping to gather details on minerals vital for clean energy technologies.

Other steps include drawing up a plan for operating standards and the installation of electric-vehicle chargers along international borders and developing a North American clean hydrogen market.

The countries also pledged to expand "legal pathways and other humane measures" to address irregular migration, and to reduce methane emissions from solid waste and wastewater to combat climate crisis.

Rights of refugees and migrants

Amnesty International urged the North American leaders to make the rights of refugees and migrants a "top priority" at their talks and to "stop implementing inhuman shared migration policies."

Obrador said he had urged Biden to press Congress for an immigration reformto help regularise the migratory status of millions of Mexicansin the US.

Biden and Trudeau also discussed the situation in Haiti, whose government has appealed for an international intervention force as armed gangs take over large swaths of the poverty-stricken Caribbean nation.

Canada's Trudeau said his country is working with allies including the US to prepare for "options" if the situation in Haiti deteriorates, adding any definitive solution must come from the Haitian people.

"We are working with partners across the Caribbean and indeed, with the United States and Mexico to ensure that if the situation starts to deteriorate, we will have options," Trudeau told reporters at the North American leaders' summit in Mexico City.

"We have continued to stand with the people of Haiti and we will continue to ... but we need to make sure that the solutions are driven by the people of Haiti themselves," Trudeau said.

Biden 'surprised' government records found at old office

Later on Tuesday, Biden said he was surprised when informed that government records were found by his attorneys at his former office space in Washington. 

He was asked about the issue after the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee requested that the US. intelligence conduct a "damage assessment" of potentially classified documents.

Speaking to reporters in Mexico City, Biden said his attorneys "did what they should have done" when they immediately called the National Archives about the discovery at the offices of the Penn Biden Center. 

He kept an office there after he left the vice presidency in 2017 until shortly before he launched his presidential campaign in 2019.

The White House confirmed that the Department of Justice was reviewing "a small number of documents with classified markings" found at the office.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies