ECONOMY SECRETARY CLOUTHIER: (Via interpreter) So good afternoon. What a pleasure to be here once more after this very good meeting with the president of Mexico and with Secretary Blinken and Secretary Raimondo. Ambassador Salazar and all our friends from Mexico, welcome, everyone – want to welcome you once more to this Ministry of the Economy of Mexico. First of all, we want to thank you for understanding because we did change the venue. This is the first anniversary of this first edition of the High-Level Economic Dialogue, which signifies promoting cooperation in our relationship. As we said this morning, Dr. De la Mora had an extraordinary meeting with stakeholders, with the academy, with the business community, and governments. She said that in such a broad relationship as the one we have between Mexico and the United States, well, there are all sorts of situations that arise, but we also have the very big commitment to address controversies and differences and to look for new ways to cooperate with each other. That’s why we’re moving forward.
And within one of these mechanisms is the High-Level Economic Dialogue, which is very good for us institutions to be able to find mechanisms of collaboration and how to continue moving forward. In this case, we’ve set conditions to have a great region of competitiveness, and this is part of what Secretary Raimondo was telling us a few minutes ago with President López Obrador.
We’re convinced that today we’re going to be holding a very productive discussion that will allow us to share vision of each one of the participants on the HLED for the second year, and we can thus agree a better path for us to continue moving forward and collaborating between our two countries.
Once more, thank you so much. I want to thank all of you for your presence. Let me now give the floor to our foreign minister of Mexico, Marcel Ebrard. You have the floor, Marcelo.
FOREIGN SECRETARY EBRARD: (Via interpreter) Thank you, Tatiana. Very well, I cordially welcome all of you. Secretary of the Department of State Mr. Antony Blinken, Secretary Raimondo, thank you so much. I am delighted to have you in Mexico. Welcome, everyone.
I simply wanted to say this is a meeting, a strategic vision. It’s a common vision between Mexico and the U.S. to build a strong region, a prosperous region as well, and that will maintain its political weight in the world – North America, and we’re just so happy to have all of you here where we’re going to be discussing today has to do with progress we’ve made. This is a very positive meeting and also invitations that we have to expand integration between Mexico and the United States on common issues as for instance clean energies, electronic vehicles, semiconductors, technology, and also this electromobility, which is an enormous topic, and this is the agenda.
So I do think this is a wonderful occasion and I really celebrate the fact we’re discussing this. This has to do with a common vision for the future. Welcome, everyone, your respective delegations – your delegation from the U.S. and the Mexican friends that are here with us.
ECONOMY SECRETARY CLOUTHIER: Yes, Secretary Blinken, you have the floor, sir.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you very much, Secretary Clouthier. Thank you for your hospitality here as well. Marcelo, Secretary Ramírez de la O, thank you so much for hosting us here today in Mexico City. It’s just great to be back with all of you.
Last year, our two presidents agreed to relaunch the High-Level Economic Dialogue. They recognized together that a strong Mexico-U.S. relationship was vital for ensuring that our countries could actually take advantage of the opportunities of this century for our people. And since then we’ve been working together on an incredibly wide range of issues, new areas, and deepened our cooperation in places where we had already been working together.
To name just a few very quickly, Mexico and the United States, our auto industry leaders are sharing information and best practices to speed up the transition to electric vehicles, which along with other clean energy technologies are critical to creating new jobs and addressing the global climate crisis. Our development agencies, AMEXCID and USAID, are working together to provide skills and training to young people in Central America so that they can find more opportunity at home and not feel compelled to leave their countries. Our governments are finding new ways to strengthen cyber security, which is increasingly central to the lives and livelihoods of our citizens, from the resilience of our supply chains to the success of small and medium enterprises increasingly reliant on a digital economy.
And I think we’re seeing results. Total trade between our countries recent surpassed even pre-pandemic levels. Mexico is our second-largest trading partner with trade between our countries exceeding $7 billion, supporting over a million jobs. And all of this is not just about abstract numbers: good-paying jobs, quality benefits, better schools, stronger small businesses, brighter futures for our people when we do it right. We have our differences, as any countries with relationships and deep and wide as ours are, but we work through them in a pragmatic way – and I’m pleased about that as well – based on mutual respect.
I will let Secretary Raimondo address this. But as we’ve discussed today, we have some remarkable new opportunities before us in part because of some progress we’ve been able to make in the United States with the CHIPS Act and then with the IRA, the Inflation Reduction Act. These create, I think, new perspectives to go even further in some of the work that we’ve already started to do, but I’ll leave it to Secretary Raimondo to discuss that.
But the issues that we’ll talk about today – expanding inclusive opportunities and jobs in North America, accelerating North America’s clean energy transition, modernizing our border infrastructure, promoting an open and secure internet, among others – aren’t simply issues that matter to our governments; profoundly, they matter to our people.
Together we can make North America the most competitive, dynamic region in the world. Both of our presidents share that vision, and it’s our responsibility to actually try and make good on it. Delighted to be here and working with all of our colleagues. Thank you.
ECONOMY SECRETARY CLOUTHIER: (Via interpreter) Thank you so much. Now with the Secretary of Commerce of the United States. You have the floor, Gina, please.
SECRETARY RAIMONDO: Thank you. Thank you. Good afternoon and thank you – thank you to our hosts, our Mexican partners. We’re having a fantastic day. It’s wonderful to be with you in person in a very productive session.
As Tony said, a year ago our governments agreed to restart this High-Level Economic Dialogue to re-engage in positive economic and commercial dialogue to advance our shared priorities, to increase trade, to increase cross-border investment; but fundamentally, what it is all about is creating opportunity for the workers of our countries, as we just spoke with your president. And we are moving forward on our shared priorities of supply chains, information and communication technology, cyber security, and workforce development.
We’ve already made progress, of which I am very proud. We’ve already identified the areas of the supply chain that are the most ripe for collaboration. We’ve shared best practices to strengthen cyber security. And we’ve implemented an Academy of Women Entrepreneurs program supporting 800 women across 13 Mexican states. So this isn’t just talking. This is doing.
But obviously, there is so much more to do. And as Secretary Blinken just said, in the past month the United States Congress passed two pieces of game-changing legislation. One, which we’ll talk about later, is the semiconductor act, the CHIPS Act, which will make a $50 billion investment in the semiconductor supply chain in the United States, and we have already heard from all of the semiconductor companies that as they build new manufacturing facilities in America, they would like to see the rest of their supply chain in North America. And so we want to explore with you how do we align our policies as between America and Mexico to maximize that entire supply chain and the jobs that go with it in North America, in Mexico specifically.
The other piece of legislation is the Inflation Reduction Act, which is the single largest investment that the United States of America has ever made in fighting climate change: $400 billion of incentives to move us towards green technology and electric vehicles, and very importantly, incentives for vehicles assembled in North America. So I can speak for President Biden and for Secretary Blinken and our teams: We are just bursting with enthusiasm and ready to get to work.
The one word of caution I have is we do need to move quickly. Companies are moving quickly. Congress has passed this legislation. The Commerce Department is already at work figuring out how to invest the $50 billion in semiconductors. We have a moment in time now, and so together we’ll get to work and seize this opportunity.
ECONOMY SECRETARY CLOUTHIER: (Via interpreter) Thank you so much, Secretary Raimondo. We’re so happy to have our Finance Minister of Mexico Rogelio Ramírez de la O. Doctor, you have the floor.
FINANCE SECRETARY RAMÍREZ DE LA O: (Via interpreter) Thank you. Good morning – good afternoon, rather. What a pleasure to be here with you. I want to greet the U.S. delegation today, especially DOS Secretary Mr. Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Mrs. Raimondo and Jayme White, who is the deputy secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment; distinguished ambassador, our friend, Ken Salazar, welcome – yes, ambassador of the United States to Mexico. I want to also thank you for being here. What a pleasure to have all of you here in Mexico. And I would also like to greet with great affection the Mexican delegation, Secretary Tatiana Clouthier and – secretary of economy – Foreign Minister Mr. Marcelo Ebrard, and Esteban Moctezuma, ambassador of Mexico to the United States.
I also want to thank – after a year of reactivation of this dialogue, I want to thank for the commitment shown through this mechanism of collaboration, which reveals not only the strategic vision of our cooperation at the economic level but also the capacity that our two administrations have to go over and beyond the traditional concerns at the bilateral level. And I want to congratulate and commend both delegations for this great progress being made and the work we’re all doing.
And today in this annual meeting we’re going to be discussing results we’ve been able to reach in this first year of work in each one of the four pillars, and I am certain that this will allow us to reflect on our priorities for the future and the importance for those accomplishments to generate a positive impact on bilateral trade, but especially the well-being of our citizens. And as already said by Secretary Raimondo, well, especially for workers, yes. And we shall also look into new actions that will be complementing those that we’ve already implemented in key areas for both administrations, as for instance supply chains, climate change, and integration of our labor markets.
I conclude reasserting the commitment of the Mexican administration so that through the Ministry of Finances, we can work as a team with the purpose of having greater regional cooperation and integration between both countries to increase the well-being of our peoples. Thank you so much.
ECONOMY SECRETARY CLOUTHIER: (Via interpreter) Thank you so much, Secretary. Now let’s give the floor to – yes, Jayme White, you have the floor.
DEPUTY TRADE REPRESENTATIVE WHITE: I also want to echo my colleagues by saying thank you for hosting. We’ve had a great day so far collaborating, especially with the stakeholders that have so much valuable information.
It’s an honor to be here to represent the United States. Ambassador Katherine Tai and I remain excited about serving as co-leads for the United States in this important dialogue. As deputy United States trade representative, one of my chief responsibilities is the North American relationship, including the continued implementation and enforcement of the USMCA, which is the foundation of our economic and trade relationship. It’s been two years since we entered into this new agreement. Along with our neighbor and ally to the north, Canada, we are all recommitting to our regional economic partnership. The USMCA represents a high-standard, high-ambition trade agreement that promotes the rights of workers, advances our environmental priorities, and creates new opportunities for our producers.
The bottom line is this: The HLED provides a framework to engage collaboratively with Mexico on key projects to complement and fortify the foundation of the USMCA. The HLED helps advance our regional economic integration and our collective prosperity. Our partnership under the HLED supports the development and implementation of a worker-centered economic policy, a top priority of the Biden-Harris administration.
For example, we are coordinating joint efforts in a number of areas, including, number one, promoting innovation and our efforts to invest in entrepreneurs and SMEs, who we all know are the backbone of our economies; number two, expanding access to economic opportunities for underrepresented groups; and number three, pursuing strategies for joint workforce development that prioritize the tech skills and training needed to meet the demands and seize the opportunities of the 21st century.
These objectives can only make us stronger as a region and reflect the values of the Biden-Harris administration to ensure that all citizens can participate in and benefit from our economic policies. USTR remains committed and ready to help guide this relationship forward along with Secretaries Blinken and Raimondo. Thank you for your time. Thanks.