To deliver on a commitment by President Biden and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in March, today Vice President Kamala Harris relaunched the annual cabinet-level U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). As the Vice President noted, “Our world is more interconnected and interdependent than ever before, highlighting the importance of the partnership and the relationship between the United States and Mexico.” The HLED provides a strategic, measurable, and goal-oriented platform for the United States and Mexico to advance economic and social priorities central to fostering regional prosperity, expanding job creation, promoting investment in our people, and reducing inequality and poverty in all of its dimensions.
The U.S. delegation was comprised of Vice President Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and USAID Administrator Samantha Power were also in attendance. The Mexican delegation consisted of Secretary of External Relations Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier, Mexican Ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma, and Undersecretary of Finance and Public Credit Gabriel Yorio.
In her opening message, Vice President Harris remarked, “I am confident that our nations will continue to work together, that our companies will continue to create jobs together, and that our people will enjoy greater prosperity and a greater quality of life.” Secretary Ebrard added, “this dialogue allows us to define the strategic common vision of our two countries for the future, as the North American region that we are, and not only discuss day-to-day issues of concern.”
In their remarks, Secretaries Raimondo and Clouthier both shared their vision that the HLED would serve as a platform to build back better together. “The more our two countries become a seamless marketplace, the more competitive we will be globally,” Secretary Raimondo stated. While Secretary Clouthier emphasized: “the HLED will be complementary to the USMCA as it will help create the right conditions to make our economic integration even stronger.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored in his intervention: “The scope of work we have identified strives to promote that kind of broad-based economic opportunity, by focusing on enhancing economic opportunities for our most vulnerable citizens and our most underserved regions; securing the tools necessary to build future prosperity; and investing in our people, so they have the education and skills they need to compete in the 21st century.” Lastly, Ambassador Tai recognized the importance of collaboration and communication and the shared principles of building durable, economic futures guided by the perspectives and aspirations of all people – especially workers.
During the meeting, participants discussed the four pillars that form the joint vision of the HLED:
- Building Back Together
- Promoting Sustainable Economic and Social Development in Southern Mexico and Central America
- Securing the Tools for Future Prosperity
- Investing in Our People
To Build Back Together, the United States and Mexico intend to create a Bilateral Supply Chain Working Group to identify sectors of promise and action areas in line with domestic priorities per Executive Orders 14017 and 14001. Together, we intend to build supply chain resiliency, guard against disruptions, and seek to promote competitiveness by reducing vulnerabilities.
To Promote Sustainable Economic Development in southern Mexico and Central America, we plan to continue to provide strategic assistance to address the root causes of migration, including through joint development programs with Mexico. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Government and the Government of Mexico, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will deepen joint collaboration with the Government of Mexico to address these development challenges in Central America. Mexico and the United States intend to collaborate on a new program that partners with farmers in southern Mexico to foster sustainable development in line with climate goals
To Secure the Tools for Future Economic Prosperity, we recognize the need to have safe and secure digital space. The United States and Mexico committed to supporting regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation on issues related to information and communication technologies, networks, cybersecurity, telecom, and infrastructure, among others. We also agreed to focus on mitigating threats and enhancing data flows, recognizing the importance of strengthening cybersecurity protections in global supply chains. Given the dynamism and interconnection of our economies, we seek to enhance cross-border data flows and interoperability.
To Invest in our People, we are committed to building a more inclusive workforce that is better educated, more competitive, and better trained with the necessary skills to meet the needs of the 21st Century economy. We recognize that all people, including historically marginalized or vulnerable populations, should benefit from economic growth. Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of both of our economies, and we commit to working to integrate them in regional value chains and our future bilateral work.
Our work as governments could not happen without the input of the private sector, academia, and civil society, and we commit to a continued feedback loop on the progress and direction of the HLED’s initiatives. Our goal is for the HLED to be a dynamic mechanism that can help both countries overcome today’s hurdles and achieve tomorrow’s potential. The United States and Mexico committed to meeting annually at the cabinet level and semi-annually at the sub-cabinet level.
With the HLED, the United States and Mexico reaffirm our commitment to regional economic growth, integration, and the longstanding strategic partnership that binds our two countries.