U.S. President Joseph R. Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador relaunched the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) in 2021 to advance shared strategic economic and commercial priorities. The HLED provides a platform for the United States and Mexico to leverage their strong economic integration to foster regional prosperity, expand job creation, promote investment in our people, and reduce inequality and poverty. Since 2021, HLED collaboration has focused on four thematic pillars described in the highlights of the accomplishments below. Between August 31, 2021 and September 12, 2022, the two governments hosted at least 21 stakeholder outreach engagements with civil society, the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations to inform these efforts.
PILLAR I: BUILDING BACK TOGETHER
The United States and Mexico are working to improve the regional business environment, deploy advanced technologies, strengthen the resilience of U.S.-Mexico supply chains, and promote lawful trade and travel.
- The United States and Mexico established a Supply Chain Working Group, with an initial focus on the U.S.-Mexico semiconductor and information and communications technology (ICT) supply chain ecosystems. The Mexican Ministry of Economy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leading technology companies and manufacturers to facilitate emerging technologies and workforce development in Mexico. Mexico’s Ministry of Economy hosted a forum on “Strengthening the Semiconductor and ICT supply Chains between Mexico and the United States” in Mexico City. The Forum provided an overview of the industry’s ecosystem and potential investment opportunities in North America.
- In collaboration with the University of California, industry representatives, and academics, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Relations established a Transport Electrification Working Group to support the U.S. and Mexican automotive industries’ transition to the production of electric vehicles.
- As part of the 2022 Supply Chain Ministerial Forum organized by the United States, Mexico joined the collective goal of 50% production of zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
- Addressing longstanding wastewater issues affecting Tijuana and San Diego, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexican National Water Council (CONAGUA) signed a statement of intent committing to invest a combined $474 million in priority projects to address ocean and Tijuana River transboundary pollution.
- The two governments committed to invest in border infrastructure and modernization projects through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which dedicates $3.4 billion for 26 major construction and modernization projects at land ports of entry on both U.S. borders and Mexico’s commitment during the July meeting of our presidents to invest $1.5 billion in border infrastructure between 2022-2024.
- The U.S. and Mexican governments convened state and municipal governments and private sector and civil society organizations to promote public-private cooperation to develop green spaces and sustainable economic development zones to benefit sister communities across our shared border. In support of the Global Methane Pledge, the Government of Mexico committed to develop an implementation plan to eliminate flaring and venting of methane in oil and gas operations.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through the COVID-19 Medical Devices Regulatory Convergence Project, worked with the Federal Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) to align requirements with international standards for the importation and production of medical devices.
- During the second meeting of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Free Trade Commission in July 2022, the United States and Mexico committed, together with Canada, to complete, by October, negotiations in the Competitiveness Committee on the establishment of a sub-committee to cooperate during emergency situations in order to maintain, re-establish, or otherwise address issues related to the flow of trade in North America, as well as a working group under that Sub-Committee to coordinate on a shared understanding of critical infrastructure priorities.
PILLAR II: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA
The United States and Mexico are cooperating to improve livelihoods through the creation of jobs and opportunities in northern Central America and southern Mexico.
- USAID awarded a contract to support Sembrando Oportunidades to enhance U.S. and Mexican development agencies’ coordination of agricultural and youth workforce development activities in northern Central America.
- USAID launched a new project, the Sustainable Prosperous Communities Program in four southern Mexican states to improve the livelihoods of 40,000 beneficiaries; the new Southern Mexico Generating Employment and Sustainability (SURGES) will mobilize investment, create jobs and increase incomes in agricultural and eco-tourism value chains in southern Mexico through 30 public-private partnerships.
- U.S. Embassy Mexico City worked with the secretaries of Environment of Mexico’s seven southeastern states to create a regional conservation effort that will fund conservation projects to protect the Selva Maya region, the second largest tropical forest in Latin America and a critical resource for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to mitigate the climate crisis.
PILLAR III: SECURING THE TOOLS FOR FUTURE PROSPERITY
The United States and Mexico are working to support regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation in the information and communication technologies, networks, cybersecurity, telecom, and infrastructure sectors.
- In September, the Department of Commerce and Mexico’s Ministry of Economy held a forum on “Best practices from a public and private perspective on Cybersecurity” that focused on the use of a risk-based approach to cybersecurity threats and incidents, as well as on resources developed by the United States’ National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Mexico announced its intention to join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum’s Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Declaration, thereby joining efforts to promote interoperability and help bridge different regulatory approaches to data protection and privacy.
- A bilateral virtual Forum on 5G and Beyond is scheduled to take place in October to emphasize the importance of close cooperation between the United States and Mexico on 5G and ICT infrastructure deployment.
PILLAR IV: INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE
The governments of the United States and Mexico are working to promote initiatives that invest in entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises, and that enhance access to economic opportunities for women, youth, indigenous persons, and members of the LGBTQI+ community.
- The United States and Mexico are coordinating with Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in southern Mexico to help expand their networks. The Economic Development Directors of the southern Mexico states launched a regional block of SBDCs to coordinate on developing and strengthening SMEs in southern Mexico.
- Together, the U.S. Department of Labor and Mexico’s Campos de Esperanza are working to develop a social media campaign to address gender issues including women’s labor rights, sexual harassment in the workplace and gender violence. The effort helped establish 13 community centers in Veracruz and Oaxaca to provide information on labor rights, sexual harassment in the workplace and deliver life skills training modules on Youth Inclusion and Empowerment.
- Advancing women’s entrepreneurship, for the third year in a row, the Ministry of Economy organized the virtual e-business roundtable “MujerExportaMx” to educate women-led SMEs on U.S. export opportunities. The United States awarded the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) $38,000 to implement the 2022 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program, with over 800 Mexican women from 14 Mexican states participating thus far.
- The two governments are working to hold technical exchanges in priority sectors to expand collaboration on apprenticeships, dual education programs, and career and technical education in priority sectors. The U.S. Department of Labor will host a virtual technical exchange on apprenticeships with Mexico’s Ministries of Economy and Labor on October 24. U.S. Embassy Mexico City worked with private sector partners to develop diploma courses in English for the IT, tourism, and the automotive sectors in four technical institutions in Queretaro, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. The U.S. Department of Education and Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education and National College of Professional Technical Education committed to hold a first virtual technical dialogue on technical education, scheduled for October.
- The U.S. Department of State approved the inclusion of Mexico in the next cohort of the Community College Administrator’s Program. This professional development program increases participants’ understanding of U.S. community colleges’ collaboration with business and industry to address local workforce needs.
- The United States helped organize the first of a series of trilateral forums on workforce development in December 2021 in Dallas, TX and the Mexican Ministry of Economy hosted the 2nd Trilateral Forum on Workforce Development in North America on August 31-September 1.