New Orleans (AP) President Bush says today's reopening of the Mexican consulate in New Orleans is a signal that the city “is open for business.”
The consulate had been closed by the Mexican government as a cost-saving measure in 2002.
Bush is holding a two-day North American summit in New Orleans with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The three are focusing on expanding commerce, even as The North American Free Trade Agreement draws criticism from democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Both have threatened to pull the U.S. out of NAFTA unless Canada and Mexico negotiate more protections for workers and the environment.
The agreement 14 years ago has developed into the world's largest trading partnership totaling nearly one trillion dollars a year.