The SPP’s Death Knell has Sounded

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From Embassy The SPP’s Death Knell has Sounded Experts say:  Canada is now in a prime position to devise a new way forward on North American relations by Jeff Davis August 26 2009

While the structure of SPP’s next incarnation is becoming clearer, most experts agree that besides President Obama’s decision to attend the Three Amigos summit, little substantial work was done in Guadalajara.

Colin Robertson, a former Canadian consul general in Los Angeles and currently a distinguished senior fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, says the Obama administration is still exploring how it will transform the SPP, and decided to start off slow.

Mr. Robertson describes the Guadalajara summit it as “trilateral lite” while the three governments figured out what to do next. Many of the perennial players, he adds, were absent. The most conspicuous absence was the North American Competitiveness Council, the trilateral group of elite CEOs that traditionally met with the leaders at SPP summits.

Mr. Robertson says this was because the Obama administration must tread very carefully in its dealings with business, as it is “very carefully watching its labour flank.” Maintaining labour support for health care and climate change initiatives is crucial for Obama, he says, and the president excluded the NACC from Guadalajara for these political appearances