The U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission (BNC) is a unique forum established by the two countries to allow for regular exchanges at the cabinet-level on a wide range of issues critical to U.S.-Mexico relations.
Development of the BNC
In May of 1977, Presidents Carter and Lopez Portillo established the precursor to the BNC to provide better coordination of U.S. - Mexico relations. Then called the U.S. Mexico Consultative Mechanism, it had three broad working groups--political, social and economics--and subgroups within each of these. At the first meeting in May 1978, Secretary of State Vance and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Roel met in Mexico with the chairmen of the working groups to review the first year's progress.
In February 1979, the two presidents agreed to reorganize and strengthen the Consultative Mechanism. The working groups were realigned and broadened to provide an improved forum for discussion and understanding. The presidents later reaffirmed the Consultative Mechanism during their September 1979 meeting in Washington, DC.
The Binational Commission was established in 1981 by Presidents Reagan and Lopez Portillo to serve as a forum for meetings between cabinet-level officials from both countries. The new BNC was envisioned as a simple, flexible tool that would meet once or twice annually with U.S. and Mexican counterparts addressing agendas of topics requiring high-level attention.