BY ROBERT ZOELLICK
On Saturday, Mexico will inaugurate a new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, just as President Obama is setting course for his second term. Obama’s administration is focused on more distant lands — rebalancing toward Asia and struggling with turmoil in the Middle East. Yet this week’s meeting of the two men highlights an opportunity for the United States to strengthen its continental base and leverage the dynamism of the Western Hemisphere as part of a global strategy.
The North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 was the United States’ first international innovation outside the traditional Cold War security system. Over the past 20 years, U.S. attention to North America has been frequently diverted — but NAFTA and the partnership among Mexico, Canada and the United States are now starting to reach their potential.