The U.S. and Mexican HLED co-chairs met on April 18 to review key accomplishments as outlined below, discuss priority initiatives and stakeholder engagements, and plan for the next meeting in fall 2022.
The U.S. delegation was led by Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Marisa Lago, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Jose Fernandez, and Deputy United States Trade Representative, Jayme White. The Mexican delegation was led by Under Secretary of Foreign Trade, Luz Maria de la Mora, Under Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Gabriel Yorio, and Chief Officer for North America, Roberto Velasco.
The HLED advances strategic economic and commercial priorities for Mexico and the United States to foster economic development and growth, promote job creation, enhance competitiveness, and reduce poverty and inequality in both countries. HLED collaboration centers around four thematic pillars:
- Pillar I – Building Back Together – strengthens supply chains and promotes trade facilitation and infrastructure between the United States and Mexico;
- Pillar II – Promoting Sustainable Economic and Social Development in southern Mexico and Central America – identifies opportunities to improve the livelihoods of individuals and families in southern Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, through the creation of jobs and opportunities;
- Pillar III – Securing the Tools for Future Prosperity – supports regulatory compatibility, mitigates threats, and enhances data flows; and
- Pillar IV – Investing in Our People – works toward a more inclusive workforce that is better educated, more competitive, and better trained.
The United States and Mexican governments have consulted with civil society, the private sector, academia, and other non-governmental organizations that can contribute to the HLED process through an open dialogue that values inclusion and diverse viewpoints while ensuring transparency and inclusiveness. Both governments have created websites containing information regarding the HLED while also providing a mechanism for stakeholders to offer input on a regular basis at gob.mx/dean and trade.gov/HLED.
The U.S. and Mexican governments will reconvene at the cabinet level for the HLED annual meeting in Mexico in fall 2022.
U.S. Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue Mid-Year Review
List of Accomplishments
Pillar I: Building Back Together
The United States and Mexico seek to improve the regional business environment and strengthen the resilience of U.S.-Mexico supply chains in an environment informed by the pandemic.
Strengthening Supply Chains and Coordinating Supply Chain Management in a Crisis
The United States and Mexico established a Supply Chain Working Group that agreed to collaborate on the U.S.-Mexico semiconductor and ICT supply chain ecosystems and to consider other areas of opportunity.
- The Supply Chain Working Group conducted domestic and joint stakeholder outreach events to better understand the opportunities and challenges in the U.S.-Mexico semiconductor supply chain.
- The Mexican Ministry of Economy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with leading technology companies and manufacturers to facilitate emerging technologies and workforce development in Mexico.
- Mexico partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank to produce a semiconductor supply chain mapping report.
United States-Mexico Cooperation on Environmental Technologies
- Both governments are seeking to utilize advanced technologies to improve environmental conditions and human health by addressing transboundary pollutants, while promoting economic growth in Mexico and the United States.
- The Department of Commerce led a virtual Environmental Technologies Trade Mission to Mexico where U.S. participants were introduced to Mexican government service providers, end users, and prospective partners to provide advanced technologies and to improve environmental conditions and human health by addressing transboundary pollutants, while promoting economic growth in Mexico and the United States.
Enhancing Border Conditions to Facilitate Lawful Trade and Travel
- The U.S. and Mexican governments agreed to continue work to align each country’s Authorized Economic Operator Programs, and to evaluate the expansion of the Unified Cargo Processing program, with an eye toward enhancing U.S.-Mexican economic competitiveness.
- The two governments agreed to continue collaborating on key areas of shared interest through the 21st Century Border Management Process, a binational initiative to strengthen efficiencies for legitimate trade and travel, modernize our border infrastructure by prioritizing projects and technology, promote public safety, and combat transnational crime.
Trade Facilitation Partnership for Medical Devices
- Both governments are seeking to improve access to medical devices and supplies for public health emergencies.
- The Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk (COFEPRIS), Mexico’s sanitary agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed to implement the Medical Device Regulatory Convergence (MDRC) project, a public-private initiative that aims to more effectively deploy critical medical equipment in times of crisis by aligning regulations, including emergency use authorization procedures.
- Under the agreement, the United States and Mexico hosted a series of four webinars designed to improve the regulatory process for medical devices and their implementation in the medical device sector. The webinars covered: international commitments; good regulatory practices under the international and local scope of medical devices; regulatory processes in Mexico; and challenges and opportunities for regulatory convergence in the medical devices sector.
- On March 24, COFEPRIS, USAID, and the Medical Device Regulatory Convergence project’s implementing partners assessed the project’s progress and approved the 2022 workplan. Under the MDRC’s workplan, COFEPRIS agreed to participate in a series of technical workshops with other regulatory agencies from countries around the hemisphere.
Pillar II: Promoting Sustainable Economic and Social Development in Southern Mexico and Central America
The United States and Mexico are cooperating to improve livelihoods through the creation of jobs and opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and southern Mexico by increasing trade potential and spurring investment.
Mexico and U.S. Partnership to Address the Root Causes of Irregular Migration in Southern Mexico and Northern Central America
- Both governments are working to increase technical cooperation between their respective development agencies, promotion of value chains, and rural development.
- Under a Memorandum of Understanding and action plan, USAID and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) announced work on a new collaborative framework called “Sowing Opportunities” (Sembrando Oportunidades). Under this framework:
- AMEXCID is referring participants from Mexico’s “Youth Building the Future” program (Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro) in El Salvador to a USAID program with the International Organization for Migration that enhances skills and provides opportunities at home for young people through long-term training.
- Under the framework’s agricultural program, AMEXCID is conducting inventories of its “Sowing Life” (Sembrando Vida) participants in El Salvador and Honduras to receive USAID training to meet higher product quality standards and to be integrated into food distribution supply chains in El Salvador and Honduras.
- USAID has begun the procurement processes for two new programs.
- The Southern Mexico Generating Employment and Sustainability (SURGES) program will promote investment, create jobs, and increase incomes in priority value chains (coffee, cacao, eco-tourism, sustainable livestock) in southern Mexico using a market-based approach that leverages private and public sector investments to improve competitiveness, generate employment, and encourage sustainable and climate-friendly practices. This program will be awarded in August 2022.
- The Alliance for Root Causes and Opportunities (ARCO) is a jointly designed program to support the implementation of Sembrando Oportunidades. A request for proposals was recently released for bidders with a selection to be jointly made by USAID and AMEXCID.
Pillar III: Securing the Tools for Future Prosperity
The United States and Mexico are working to support regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation on issues related to information and communication technologies, networks, cybersecurity, telecom, and infrastructure, among others.
Strengthening Cybersecurity Cooperation
- Both governments are coordinating opportunities to strengthen cybersecurity protections in global supply chains and tackling cybersecurity challenges through international industry practices and standards.
- The United States is providing technical assistance to Mexico on increasing its capability to secure its cyberspace through the provision of NIST's Cybersecurity Framework, NIST's Privacy Framework, NIST's National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Framework, and Internet of Things (IoT) documents in English and Spanish. Link: https://www.nist.gov/cybersecurity/international-cybersecurity-and-privacy-resources.
Pillar IV: Investing in Our People
The United States and Mexico are fostering cooperation towards a more inclusive workforce that is better educated, more competitive, and better trained with the necessary skills to meet the needs of the 21st Century economy.
Campaign to Support Economic Growth through Innovation and Creativity
- Both governments are cooperating to support innovation by reducing or eliminating counterfeit goods and pirated content from supply chains.
- The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and the United States Patent and Trademark Office intend to coordinate a joint anti-counterfeit campaign with a proposed launch of July 2022.
- The campaign seeks to generate public awareness in support of innovation, creativity, and the goal of protecting intellectual property.
HLED Inclusive COVID Recovery
- Both governments are working to promote initiatives that invest in entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises, and that enhance access to economic opportunities for women, youth, indigenous persons, and members of the LGBTQI+ community.
- The United States awarded the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) $38,000 to implement the 2022 Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program in 13 Mexican states and requested additional funding from State Department to further expand the program.
- The United States and the UPS Foundation launched a five-week exporters program to offer participants and alumnae from the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn the basics of e-commerce, export logistics, tariffs, and trade regulations.
- The United States and Mexico are coordinating with Small Business Development Centers in southern Mexico to help expand their networks.
- On May 12 the Economic Development Directors of the southern Mexico states will launch a regional block of Small Business Development Centers to coordinate on developing and strengthening SMEs in southern Mexico.
Technical Training Programs in Priority Sectors
- Both governments established a dialogue to review options for joint technical exchanges across priority sectors, including apprenticeships, dual educational programs, and labor competencies certifications.
- The United States and Mexico have held discussions on workforce development best practices in the semiconductor sector.
- The U.S. Department of Labor and the Mexican Secretariat of Labor will exchange experiences and best practices on apprenticeship programs.