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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador met with a bipartisan group of senators led by Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine and Ohio Republican Rob Portman.
As reported by the Presidency in a bulletin, the meeting took place on Monday afternoon at the National Palace and “is part of the ongoing high-level dialogue between both nations, to address the shared challenges of the bilateral relationship.”
During the meeting, both parties discussed from an approach of mutual respect and willingness to cooperate.
“The Mexican President reiterated the importance of the eventual reopening of the border, given the advances in immunization against covid-19 in the region and its economic impact on both sides of the border,” according to the bulletin.
He also highlighted the exchange on the different mechanisms to address the structural causes of migration, both in Mexico and in the north of Central America.
“Both delegations discussed the challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the T-MEC (treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada), one year after its entry into force,” the text noted.
In addition, they discussed the integration of regional value chains, as well as trade opportunities with the states represented by the group of senators.
“This is aimed at strengthening economic growth in the wake of the pandemic,” said the Mexican Government’s communiqué.
Regarding the cooperation agenda on security matters, the delegations agreed to deepen joint efforts, particularly to significantly reduce fentanyl trafficking.
The President was accompanied by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard; the Secretary of Economy, Tatiana Clouthier; the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma; and the head of the SRE’s North American Unit, Roberto Velasco.
The American delegation was made up of the Democratic Senator for Virginia, Tim Kaine; the Republican Senator for Ohio, Rob Portman; the Republican Senator for North Dakota, John Hoeven; the Republican Senator for Idaho, Mike Crapo; the Democratic Senator for New Mexico, Ben Ray Luján; and the Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Mexico, John Creamer.
Questioned on the subject at the press conference at the National Palace, López Obrador considered the meeting “very important” as it was bipartisan and explained that they talked about bilateral issues related to the economy, development, the future reopening of the border or the strengthening of the region in the face of the “evident and notorious” advance of Asia, among other points.
“It was a very cordial, friendly meeting,” explained the president, who said that there is currently no tariff “conflict” in the region.
On the migratory phenomenon, the delegations spoke of creating a joint plan to “order the flow” and prevent people from falling into trafficking networks.
“Workers are going to be needed, I have always said so,” he said in favor of orderly and regular migration.
Finally, he assured that despite some criticisms, the purchase of Shell’s Deer Park refinery in Texas by Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) remains “firm.”