U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Friday will be participating in a virtual trip to Mexico, where he will meet with Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard, and Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier to discuss continued collaboration between the governments of the United States and Mexico, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement on Thursday.
The Department said the discussions will aim to address irregular migration, manage common environmental concerns, promote mutual security, and strengthen economies to the benefit of businesses and workers.
“We value our bond with Mexico and are committed to the nearly 200-year-old bilateral relationship,” Secretary Antony J. Blinken said on January 26, 2021.
The Biden administration highlighted key benefits the U.S. and Mexico enjoy as neighbors and partners.
- With 2,000-miles of border and 55 active land ports of entry, bilateral relations directly impact the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.
- Every day, we benefit from $1.8 billion in two-way trade; outside of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people legally cross the border on a daily basis.
- Additionally, 1.5 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico, and Mexico is the top foreign destination for U.S. travelers.
- The United States and Mexico collaborate closely to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce secondary economic impacts, restricting non-essential travel across borders while addressing the economic impact of reduced mobility along the border.
- The United States has committed to provide $2 billion to the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization to support vaccine procurement and distribution.
BILATERAL ECONOMIC ISSUES
- Mexico is the United States’ second largest trading partner in goods (after China) and second-largest export market for goods (after Canada). In 2020, two-way trade in goods totaled $538.1 billion.
- The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) supports mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America.
- Mexico and the United States coordinate closely to manage irregular migration and combat human trafficking. This includes our close coordination to support processing at designated ports of entry the estimated 26,000 individuals with active U.S. immigration cases under the now-terminated Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
- Mexico shares the Biden Administration’s interest in a comprehensive regional approach to migration and forced displacement, including addressing the root causes of irregular migration, safe and humane migration management, and expanding access to protection, while seeking ways to engage with regional and international partners to build a more prosperous and secure region.
- The border region represents a combined population of approximately 15 million people.
- Cooperation along our border with state and local officials on cross-border infrastructure, transportation planning, and security, as well as collaboration with institutions that address migration, natural resource, environment, and health issues.
- Since 2010, the high-level Executive Steering Committee for 21st Century Border Management has promoted a modern, secure, and efficient border. The multi-agency U.S.-Mexico Binational Bridges and Border Crossings Group meets three times a year to further joint initiatives that improve efficiency and coordinate planning for new crossings.
- The United States and Mexico have a long history of cooperation on environmental and natural resource issues, particularly along the border. The U.S. and Mexican Sections of the International Boundary and Water Commission work closely to distribute treaty-stipulated portions of water from the Rio Grande and Colorado River to both countries.
U.S. SECURITY COOPERATION WITH MEXICO
- Through the Merida Initiative, the United States and Mexico have forged a partnership to combat transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, while strengthening human rights and the rule of law. Merida fosters greater cooperation between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judges as they share best practices and expand capacity to track criminals, drugs, arms, and money to disrupt the business model of transnational criminal organizations.
- From FY 2008-FY 2020, the United States has appropriated more than $3.2 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building support through the Merida Initiative.
EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE
- Since its inception in 2013, the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, a Department-led, public-private partnership that connects higher education institutions in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, has strengthened ties between the United States and Mexico, awarding 71 grants to teams of 102 universities in 20 Mexican states and 27 U.S. states.
- The Fulbright program in Mexico is one of the largest in the world with nearly $5 million in annual contributions from the Governments of the United States and Mexico. There are nearly 10,0000 Fulbright alumni from Mexico and the United States.
- Mexico currently ranks tenth globally for international students at U.S. higher education institutions. More than 14,000 Mexicans studied in the United States in the 2019/2020 academic year.