Mexico and U.S. Seek to Mend Damaged Ties in Washington Summit

(Bloomberg) — Mexico is seeking to strengthen supply chains and speed up economic help to the south of the country and Central America in meetings with the Biden administration in Washington this week.

The meeting between Vice President Kamala Harris and top Mexican officials is part of an effort to mend economic ties damaged during the era of President Donald Trump’s unilateralism, Roberto Velasco, North America head in Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, said in an interview Tuesday. 

“We’re trying to build a new understanding of U.S.-Mexico in economic terms that is not zero-sum,” Velasco said in an interview, emphasizing that Mexico wants to embrace a new era after signing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “We went through an age of uncertainty with the renegotiation of the treaty, so now that we are out of it, how can we take all the advantages that this opportunity provides?” 

The officials will discuss systems to allow the region to react faster in cases of future crises, Velasco said. 

The lack of a stronger apparatus meant last year “we were creating some disruptions in supply chains,” Velasco said. “So, let’s get together and build a mechanism that helps us protect these essential supply chains that the three countries need literally for our survival.” 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday he is expecting a response from U.S. President Joe Biden on a proposal for working visas for migrants.

Mexico will also push for better border infrastructure, Velasco said, arguing that it will attract investments in critical sectors such as semiconductors, where production is heavily focused in Asia. The two sides will also discuss electric vehicle production, Velasco said.

The meeting will be attended by Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier on the Mexican side. Representing the U.S. will be Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

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