The North American Leaders Summit, held on June 29 2016 in Ottawa, brought together three telegenic heads of state: recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, and President Barack Obama of the United States of America (USA). The “three amigos” offered a positive picture of integration and cooperation on issues ranging from energy and the environment to trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The pleasant photo op belied a complicated reality for North America, however. Cooperation had stagnated for years as Trudeau’s predecessor declined to schedule a summit in retaliation for Obama’s hesitation and ultimate rejection of a major oil pipeline. The US Congress and both major presidential candidates threatened to reject the TPP, while the Republican nominee promised to “break” the region’s fundamental trade accord and build a wall on the USA–Mexico border. Mexico struggled with the implementation of once-touted reforms, while concerns over security and governance continued. The moment highlighted the need for and possibilities of trilateral cooperation, but also underlined the existential risks for North America’s future as a region.