We Need Three Amigos Summit: Biden, Other Leaders Need to Get Serious on Energy, China, Cartels

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On Monday, President Biden will meet with his counterparts Mexican President Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau at the Three Amigos Summit in Mexico City to discuss trilateral goals for North America.

This is a crucial time for North America and the stakes could not be higher.

Mexico-based cartels are increasing the flow of illegal immigrants and fentanyl through our southern border. Energy demand is high for our oil and gas rich continent. Foreign enemies are increasing their influence in Latin America, which further threatens our regions.

We need a new Monroe Doctrine for the Western Hemisphere that prioritizes security and prosperity for the United States and our neighbors.


As these three leaders prepare to meet, cartels, energy and China’s rise should be in focus.

Over the past two years, we’ve seen little urgency from the Biden administration to take serious steps to secure our border. They fought to end the stay in Mexico, stopped the construction of the border wall, and continued to let thousands of illegal immigrants into our country without knowing where they were going.

Brazilian immigrant families walk through a gap in the border wall as they cross from Mexico to Yuma, Arizona, to seek asylum on June 10, 2021.
((AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File))

According to Homeland Security investigations, the cartel’s revenue from human smuggling has risen from $500 billion in 2018 to $13 billion today. These operations affect three North American countries with a constant flow of drugs and migrants, as well as escalating cartel-related violence in Mexico.

The fastest way to lose a war is to pretend it doesn’t exist. And the cartels are waging a shadow war with drug smuggling, human trafficking and violence into our cities, into Central America and into Mexico.

Enough is enough. In 12 months, more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, mostly fentanyl.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized 1.2 million fentanyl pills between the two raids last month.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized 1.2 million fentanyl pills between the two raids last month.
(US Customs and Border Protection)

Over the weekend, Biden finally visited the border for the first time in office. Let’s hope he arrives at Monday’s summit with a renewed urgency to bring this issue to the fore.

President Biden needs to explain to President Obrador that the Mexican government must get serious about eliminating the cartels or the United States will be forced to act. If Biden refuses, the Republican-led House of Representatives should consider introducing authorization to use military force against certain cartel groups. It enables the use of the most sophisticated intelligence, cyber and military operations against adversaries.

I was at the Border and this is my message to President Biden

In terms of energy, all three countries have the oil and gas supplies needed to become the manufacturing powerhouse for a world increasingly in need of fuel. With Russia cutting off much-needed gas to Western Europe, North America has the supplies to fill the gap and stop relying on our enemies to power their own countries.

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the meeting of G-7 and NATO leaders in Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2022.

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the meeting of G-7 and NATO leaders in Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2022.
(Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP)

While Biden and Trudeau can focus on their New Green Deal fantasy, which will increase our overall dependence on China, there should be serious energy discussions focused on expanding production.

In addition, we have seen increased efforts by foreign adversaries to interfere in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere.

China, for example, has expanded its energy footprint in the Western Hemisphere by buying the lithium deposits needed to power Biden’s vision of a new green economy..


Last year, I called on the Biden administration to press Canada about why it had skipped an expanded national security review of China’s purchase of a Canadian-owned mine in Argentina. We have also seen similar cases of China buying up power grids, ports and agricultural land in the region.

Biden should make it clear to his colleagues that Mexico and Canada must coordinate to prevent Chinese economic influence in our region.

In addition to China, other global enemies such as Russia and Iran have also moved to save Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro from ouster and support other socialist dictatorships such as Cuba and Nicaragua.

North America must not support such interference in our hemisphere and must agree to resolutions to punish future foreign interference in free elections in our hemisphere.

I don’t believe Biden will prioritize these issues — but if the summit is to live up to its true name — the North American Leaders Summit — it should be on the agenda.


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