President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met yesterday with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico to reaffirm our strong ties with Mexico across a wide range of priorities, including economic cooperation, global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis, migration and development, and security. The Presidents discussed progress since the September relaunch of the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), affirming that the forum will allow both countries to accelerate priorities. Both Presidents also noted that agencies in both the United States and Mexico have begun concrete projects together that will improve international communications networks, strengthen bilateral supply chains, and promote economic development in southern Mexico and Central America. They discussed urgent actions needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic and meet multilateral targets, and to strengthen regional and global health security efforts. They also recognized the importance of educational and cultural understanding between the people of both nations and pledged to strengthen these ties.
They discussed their visions to tackle the climate crisis and the energy future of North America. Both noted their commitment to work closely together to accelerate North American deployment of renewable energy, including catalyzing finance and technology in service of renewable energy. Both Presidents also discussed how to partner on global health security and position their countries to manufacture vaccines and medical supplies here in North America.
In view of the complex and unprecedented regional challenges of migration, President Biden and President López Obrador announced a joint investment that that will allow Mexico and the United States to address together the root causes of migration in Central America and sustainably increase incomes for small farmers and reduce deforestation in southern Mexico. The programs will benefit 540,000 people. Both leaders also noted the importance of investigating and prosecuting human traffickers. The leaders also committed to work jointly to engage with other partners in the Americas on this regional challenge through pursuit of a bold new regional compact on migration and protection.
Building on the October announcement of the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health, and Safe Communities, both countries pledged to create working groups on arms trafficking and related transborder crime and border security, and to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for joint cooperation on mental health, substance use disorder, and addictions. This Bicentennial Framework will help address issues like the opioid crisis as the United States surpasses 100,000 drug overdose deaths, underscoring the sense of urgency to continue collaboration with Mexico to reduce the supply of illicit drugs. The Presidents discussed global priorities, particularly in view of Mexico’s presidency of the UN Security Council this month.
As a symbol of our mutual respect, the United States also returned to Mexico two vases originating from the Tarahumara people of northern Mexico, which were recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. President Biden and President López Obrador reiterated their commitment to a strong U.S.-Mexico partnership.