Today, senior government officials from the United States and Mexico met in Mexico City to convene the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jayme White, and Ambassador Ken Salazar chaired the meeting for the United States. Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier, Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Rogelio Ramírez, and Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma chaired the meeting for Mexico.
Since relaunching the HLED a year ago, the United States and Mexico have furthered cooperation and commitment to our regional economic growth, integration, and longstanding strategic partnership. The United States and Mexico recognize that we are stronger when we address challenges and seize opportunities together to make North America more resilient, competitive, diverse, and secure. The HLED provides a flexible, goal-oriented platform to foster regional prosperity, expand job creation, invest in our people, and reduce inequality and poverty.
As our presidents stated at their meeting in July, North America is an economic powerhouse. Regional economic strength has enabled total trade between the United States and Mexico to surpass pre-pandemic levels. The HLED builds on this dynamic and flourishing economic relationship with specific projects to strengthen North American supply chains and regional competitiveness. Our shared vision and planned scope of work set a collaborative path to address the climate crisis, the global pandemic, and enduring inequality.
Building on the work of the last year, the HLED continues to focus on four central pillars:
- Building Back Together;
- Promoting Sustainable Economic and Social Development in Southern Mexico and Central America;
- Securing the Tools for Future Prosperity; and
- Investing in Our People.
Today we reviewed accomplishments under the HLED and discussed new areas for collaboration, such as partnering to address climate change challenges to meet our commitments under the UN’s 2030 agenda and greening transportation at the border to improve air quality and public health. We also discussed collaboration on electromobility, digital economy, workforce development, and supply chain resilience in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, where Mexico’s Federal Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risks is working to optimize the regulatory environment.
The passage of the CHIPS and Science Act in the United States provides unprecedented opportunities to enhance our already dynamic supply chains. Likewise, the Inflation Reduction Act – the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history – includes $369 billion to curb emissions and spur demand for electric vehicles and clean energy technologies. These laws will increase investment into the North American manufacturing sector, lower energy costs for families and businesses, bolster our supply chains, and shore up our collective energy security. It will also create jobs in both countries and position North America as a leader in clean energy.
To Build Back Together, the United States and Mexico will work to improve the regional business climate and strengthen the resilience of U.S.-Mexico supply chains. Last year’s HLED launched the U.S.-Mexico Supply Chains Working Group to assess supply chain needs to attract investment and reduce vulnerabilities to disruptions in critical sectors, such as semiconductors and information and communication technologies (ICT).
Both countries committed to work with our private sectors to identify locations with the right skillsets, infrastructure, and industrial capabilities for greater investment in the semiconductor and ICT ecosystem. We will work together to pursue a pilot project to determine the feasibility of near-shoring semiconductor manufacturing inputs to reduce the risk of future supply chain disruptions and also support the further integration of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) into these supply chains.
We will address climate change by accelerating the transition to clean energy, especially through the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. Federal agencies in the United States and Mexico are working with state and municipal governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations to develop green spaces and sustainable economic development zones to benefit sister communities across our shared border. Doing so not only helps us keep within reach our goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C, but also improves public health and agricultural productivity.
Later this year, the United States and Mexico will celebrate 200 years of bilateral relations. Our long-standing familial, cultural, and business ties propel us to explore new ways to facilitate legitimate trade and travel along our shared border through infrastructure modernization, partnerships with private sector stakeholders, and trade facilitation programs. Our countries remain committed to completing a multi-year joint U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure modernization effort for projects along the nearly 2,000-mile border, leveraging the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the $1.5 billion commitment from the Government of Mexico to strengthen infrastructure, unite border communities, and make the two-way flow of commerce and people more secure and efficient.
To Promote Sustainable Economic Development in southern Mexico and Central America, the United States and Mexico cooperate to improve the regional business environment and livelihoods through the creation of jobs and opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and southern Mexico. Our federal governments, in partnership with regional leaders from the private sector, have organized five joint meetings with Mexican southern state governors to promote public-private cooperation to advance investment opportunities, economic development, and environmental and climate goals.
In December 2021, our two development agencies launched a new collaborative framework called “Sowing Opportunities” (Sembrando Oportunidades) to increase technical cooperation and address the root causes of irregular migration in northern Central America. The U.S. Agency for International Development has launched a new economic development project called Southern Mexico Generating Employment and Sustainability (SURGES) to mobilize private sector investments and strengthen the capacity of rural communities and small farmers to take advantage of market opportunities and integrate them into existing regional supply chains.
To Secure the Tools for Future Economic Prosperity, the United States and Mexico are working towards supporting regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation on information and communications technology (ICT), cybersecurity, telecommunications, and infrastructure issues. Through mechanisms including the U.S.-Mexico Working Group on Cyber Issues, both governments coordinate to strengthen our cybersecurity protections in global supply chains and tackle cybersecurity challenges through international industry best practices and standards, and continue cooperating on ICT infrastructure deployment, including 5G networks.
To Invest in Our People, both governments promote initiatives that expand collaboration on technical education and training, invest in entrepreneurs, support small and medium-sized enterprises, and enhance access to economic opportunities for women, youth, indigenous persons, and members of the LGBTQI+ community. High-tech manufacturing in North America relies on a highly skilled workforce and a robust ecosystem to promote high-tech entrepreneurship. Labor and education authorities from both countries will share best practices on apprenticeship programs and vocational and technical education in October.
Our collaboration to enhance technical education and create English-language certifications will prepare students to work in high-tech manufacturing, a key factor in attracting greater investment as we seek to near-shore manufacturing inputs. This work includes implementing programs for women entrepreneurs and coordinating with Small Business Development Centers to expand their professional networks in southern Mexico. We are investing in our entrepreneurs and SMEs by launching a public awareness campaign to support innovation and creativity and reduce counterfeit goods and pirated content from supply chains.
The United States and Mexico remain committed to building a more inclusive workforce that recognizes that all our citizens should benefit from our economic growth. To that end, we are working together to promote responsible business practices, implement obligations under international labor conventions, cooperate to eradicate the use of forced labor in our supply chains, and expand temporary worker programs with strong labor protections. Doing so will help us make progress on the commitments we made with partners to promote transparency, diversification, security, and sustainability in global supply chains in the July 2022 Joint Statement on Cooperation on Global Supply Chains.
We welcome and rely on stakeholder input to define and implement HLED initiatives. We affirm our commitment to continued stakeholder engagement with the private sector, academia, and civil society and look forward to expanding our engagement with state-level representatives.
Our work under the HLED will create inclusive opportunities for the benefit of our workers and communities. The United States and Mexico reaffirm our commitment to meet annually at the cabinet level and semiannually at the sub-cabinet level to build on the progress made thus far towards our shared goal of a secure and prosperous North America capable of overcoming today’s challenges and achieving tomorrow’s potential.