Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, June 8th, 2021, following a bilateral meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and in light of the United States and Mexico’s deep cultural, social, and economic ties and the two governments’ shared commitment to a prosperous and secure North America, Vice President Harris announces the following:
High-Level Economic Dialogue
The United States and Mexico agreed to hold a High-Level Economic Dialogue in September, fulfilling President Joe Biden’s and President López Obrador’s commitment on March 1st to revive this key forum that will expand bilateral economic cooperation and collaboration. The proposed agenda will cover key themes, such as trade facilitation, telecommunications and interconnectivity, and supply chain resiliency.
Cabinet-Level Security Dialogue
The United States and Mexico agreed to hold a cabinet-level security dialogue to discuss a shared vision for security. Transnational criminal organizations do not recognize borders. They pose a threat to all peoples and require a joint response. The United States and Mexico are committed to working together to reduce homicides and drug-related deaths on both sides of the border and counter the illicit forces that drive them.
Strengthen Labor Cooperation
The United States will invest an additional $130 million in technical assistance and cooperation over the next three years to work with Mexico as it implements labor legislation and to fund programs that will support workers, improve working conditions, and address child and forced labor. President Lopez Obrador signed historic labor reform legislation into law on May 1st, 2019.
Work Together To Address Root Causes of Migration in Central America
The governments of the United States and Mexico signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic partnership to address the lack of economic opportunities in northern Central America. The two governments will work together to foster agricultural development and youth empowerment programs in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and will co-create and co-manage a partnership program enabling them to better deliver, measure, and communicate about assistance to the region.
Operations Group on Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking
U.S. and Mexican law enforcement agencies will partner to exchange information and take appropriate actions to address the shared priority of disabling human trafficking and human smuggling organizations. These groups prey on vulnerable individuals, falsely promising them safe passage or a good job in the United States in exchange for their savings.
In fact, these organizations often use lies and threats to lure migrants into being trafficked or leave them stranded in Mexico or at the border, far from help and without basic supplies. Law enforcement agencies will work jointly to identify targets, develop investigations, and take enforcement actions such as freezing bank accounts associated with criminal groups.
Attract Investment to Southern Mexico
The U.S. government has developed a package of grants, loans, and other commitments that will help generate broad-based growth in southern Mexico, create jobs and reduce economic inequality in the region. The U.S. government will aim to create $250 million in new investment and sales in southern Mexico by strengthening rural value chains such as cacao, coffee, and eco-tourism.
The U.S. International Development Finance Cooperation will issue a loan to support affordable housing and mortgages; 40 to 50 percent of new homes will be built in southern Mexico. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Department of Commerce will organize trade and business development missions that will support infrastructure development in southern Mexico. USTDA plans to provide a grant to Mexico’s aviation regulator for technical assistance to improve efficiencies.
Partnership to Resolve Disappearances Cases in Mexico
The Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Justice will continue to train lab technicians and police to enhance their skills in forensic analysis of decomposed bodies and support Mexico’s National Search Commission to collect, maintain, and analyze missing persons registries across the country.
As a next step, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will train genetics experts on a new system to track forensic information and improve capacity.