North America Summit, 20 Aug 2007

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President George W Bush joins Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday in hopes of expanding cooperation among their countries, which enjoy the largest trading partnership in the world.

The two-day North American Leaders' Summit in Montebello, Quebec appears to lack a signature issue, except perhaps a new US push to halt Mexico's bloody drug wars.

Instead, the broad theme is economic prosperity, built around several topics: border security, competitiveness with India and China, product safety and energy solutions.

Underlying those points are technical but important matters, such as aligning border-crossing procedures and commercial standards.

''It's not necessarily sexy stuff, but it's essential to our security. It has to be done,'' said Roger Noriega, Bush's former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.

''And it just so happens that Mexico and Canada have renewed themselves with the election of two right-of-center leaders who see the world a lot like Bush does.''

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