North America: Time for a New Focus

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Task Force on North America

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) as Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto looks on after attending a news conference, at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Toluca near Mexico City, February 19, 2014 (Henry Romero/Courtesy Reuters).

Today I am pleased to launch CFR’s Independent Task Force on North America. I have been working with co-chairs David H. Petraeus and Robert Zoellick, as well as some twenty other Task Force members and observers, over the past year to better understand the myriad issues facing Canada, the United States, and Mexico, and to make concrete policy recommendations for the U.S. government to strengthen the region. We find that while not always the most urgent of policy issues, North America is as vitally important to the United States’ future.

The Task Force focuses on four main areas in North American relations: energy, economic competitiveness, security, and our shared community. It recommends steps to further integrate energy matrices, to bolster economic competitiveness by speeding the movement of goods and services across borders, to work as three nations together when facing common security threats, and to foster the deepening North American community through immigration reforms and joint workforce development.

The full report, North America: Time for a New Focus, is available here.

Published in conjunction with Latin America’s Moment at the Council on Foreign Relations.