North American Forum Annual Meeting Addresses Competitiveness, Trade, Energy and Security Issues

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Washington, DC
Hoover hosts NAFTA at Twenty conference
Image credit: 
Alex Covarrubias

The North American Forum, a community of Canadian, Mexican, and US thought leaders who work to advance a shared vision of North America and to contribute to regional solutions among the three neighbors, held its tenth annual meeting in Washington, DC, during November 13-15. 

This year’s meeting, led by Cochairs Gary Roughead of the United States, Thomas d’Aquino of Canada, and Pedro Aspe of Mexico, examined opportunities shared by the North American partners, including the extraordinary North American energy future, competitiveness, regional and global trade, and security matters.  The delegations of the three countries were made up of current and former government officials, business leaders, and scholars.  In commenting on the value of the forum, Roughhead, US cochair and host of the year’s meeting, said, “With all the disorder and disruption we see in the world today, the three democracies of North America, with favorable demographics, energy resources, and innovation stand apart. To be able to come together and discuss opportunity and not crisis speaks to a very optimistic and prosperous future.”

At the opening dinner, Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group, provided an overview of the recent Council on Foreign Relations report on North America. Highlights of the meeting were presentations by US secretary of energy Ernie Moniz, Mexican secretary of energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, and Canada’s deputy minister of natural resources Bob Hamilton, followed by a panel of experts discussing the potential for an integrated North American energy market.  In addition, a panel of senior business leaders, including Business Roundtable president and former governor of Michigan John Engler; John Manley, president and CEO, Canadian Council of Chief Executives; and Claudio Gonzalez, chairman, Kimberly-Clark de Mexico; discussed competitiveness.

Ambassadors of the three partner countries--Bruce Heyman, US ambassador to Canada; Anthony Wayne, US ambassador to Mexico; Sara Hradecky, Canadian ambassador to Mexico; Denis Stevens, Canadian deputy head of mission to the United States; Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexican ambassador to the United States; and Francisco Suarez Davila, Mexican ambassador to Canada–provided unique perspectives on the opportunities ahead. The program concluded with former US secretary of state and the Treasury George Shultz giving a look forward to the next decade. 

The forum hosts annual meetings that rotate among the three countries.  Next year’s meeting will be in Toronto, during August 20-22.

The Hoover Institution at Stanford University serves as the US Secretariat for the North American Forum.

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About the Hoover Institution:  The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced study of economics, politics, history, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs. With its eminent scholars and world-renowned Library & Archives, the Hoover Institution seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity and secure and safeguard peace for America and all mankind.

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