The U.S. and Mexican HLED co-chairs met virtually on April 18 to review key accomplishments since the September 12 HLED ministerial as outlined below. They also discussed priority initiatives and stakeholder engagements to plan for the HLED ministerial in fall 2023.
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 W. Fernandez, and Deputy United States Trade Representative Jayme White. The Mexican delegation was led by Under Secretary of Foreign Trade Alejandro Encinas, 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 – The United States and Mexico are working to improve the regional business environment, deploy advanced technologies, strengthen the resilience of U.S.-Mexico supply chains, and promote lawful trade and travel;
- 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 northern Central America and southern Mexico;
- Pillar III – Securing the Tools for Future Prosperity – The United States and Mexico are working to support regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation in the information and communication technologies, networks, cybersecurity, telecom, and infrastructure sectors; and
- Pillar IV – Investing in Our People – The United States and Mexico 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 and Mexican governments consulted with civil society, the private sector, academia, labor, and other non-governmental organizations through an open, inclusive dialogue that values diverse perspectives and transparency. Our governments implemented several stakeholder recommendations:
- Mexico created an Investor’s Single Window, an informational resource for companies looking to invest in Mexico;
- promoted the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (NCF) in Mexico through the sharing of NCF materials with the Mexican government and:
- increased cybersecurity capacity and coordination by promoting the adoption of international practices and consensus-based standards.
In addition, the HLED has several ongoing projects based on stakeholder recommendations such as supply chain coordination in the semiconductor and ICT ecosystem; increased digitization of procedures at the border; coordination on 5G development and ICT connectivity; and strategic collaboration with universities; and enhanced workforce development. The Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Relations signed a memorandum of understanding with Arizona State University to pave the way for an alliance of U.S. and Mexican universities along with microelectronics manufacturers to train workers and build semiconductor production in North America.
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 the United States in fall 2023.
Pillar I: Building Back Together
The United States and Mexico are working to improve the regional business environment, deploy advanced technologies, strengthen the resilience of U.S.-Mexico supply chains, and promote lawful trade and travel.
Strengthening Supply Chains and Coordinating Supply Chain Management in a Crisis
- The United States and Mexico will continue to work toward a pilot project to determine the feasibility of near-shoring semiconductor manufacturing inputs to reduce the risk of future supply chain disruptions and also support the further integration of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) into these supply chains.
- U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA and other U.S. government agencies met with officials from Economia and the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs to inform the creation of an Investor’s Single Window for companies interested in investing in Mexico.
United States - Mexico Cooperation on Environmental Technologies
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) committed to coordinate and promote the use of innovative environmental technologies, including those that address air quality, climate change mitigation, and water/wastewater challenges in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
- Mexico’s National Water Commission hosted a webinar with local, regional and municipal regulatory agencies and other water sector stakeholders about water reuse approaches. During the webinar, EPA presented on its National Water Reuse Action Plan. Both countries are considering engagement under two new proposals for the reuse of treated wastewater.
- EPA and SEMARNAT, in collaboration with the North American Development Bank, hosted the first U.S.-Mexico Climate Justice Youth Forum. The event convened young leaders from the Imperial-Mexicali region to strengthen their leadership skills in climate justice, gain knowledge on climate change and environmental justice, and network with community leaders and professionals.
Enhancing Border Conditions to Facilitate Lawful Trade and Travel
- Mexico and the United States agreed to implement the recommendations of the Sandia study at a first model port of entry at the Matamoros-Brownsville Veterans International Bridge to test joint planning, targeting, inspection, and communications that increased revenue and security screening. Both governments will select a second model port of entry in 2023 to test and assess coordination and communication between ports of entry.
- Since the September 12, 2022 HLED, the U.S. and Mexican governments have made progress towards the alignment
- CBP has continued to engage with Mexico’s National Customs Agency (ANAM), Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR), and Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) on Non-Invasive Inspection (NII) cooperation and information sharing regarding NII equipment implementation. In November 2022 CBP hosted SEMAR to observe NII operations and procedures at the Houston Seaport and several Land Ports of Entry in Brownsville. The visit helped secure the GOM’s commitment to procure equipment compatible with U.S. data to facilitate information exchanges.
Trade Facilitation Partnership for Medical Devices
- As part of the Standards Alliance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) worked with Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) on the Medical Device Regulatory Convergence Project (MDRC) to train over 1,800 participants from the Americas on good regulatory practices and fostered the use of international standards.
FDA-COFEPRIS Collaboration to Streamline Regulatory Process
- FDA and COFEPRIS briefed U.S. and Mexican HLED Coordinators about their ongoing collaboration on medical regulatory convergence. Key areas of engagement include the FDA supporting COFEPRIS’ application for membership to the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) and the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF); supporting the update of the reliance provisions to recognize MDSAP; streamlining the reliance mechanism pathway for pharmaceuticals, information exchanges on International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) guidelines; and supporting additional workshops on the USAID-funded Medical Device Regulatory Convergence project (MDRC).
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 northern Central America and southern Mexico.
Mexico and U.S. Partnership to Address the Root Causes of Irregular Migration in Southern Mexico and Northern Central America
- USAID partners with the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) on programs to increase incomes for small farmers and help youth gain employment so they can prosper in their home communities through the Sembrando Oportunidades initiative. While both agencies are helping tens of thousands of Central Americans through bilateral programs AMEXCID and USAID are cooperating together to help nearly 2,000 youth and small farmers in El Salvador and Honduras.
- USAID work in southern Mexico achieved $18.8 million in new investments in small enterprises; spurred $1.2 million in new sales for smallholder farmers; and supported over 25,800 smallholder farmers.
PILLAR III: SECURING THE TOOLS FOR FUTURE PROSPERITY
The United States and Mexico are working to support regulatory compatibility and risk mitigation in the information and communication technologies, networks, cybersecurity, telecom, and infrastructure sectors.
U.S.-Mexico Dialogue on Next-Generation Telecommunications and ICT Networks
- The United States and Mexico hosted a two-day event entitled “U.S.-Mexico Commercial Forum on 5G and Beyond,” which convened government and industry leaders, and covered topics such as next generation wireless regulatory and policy strategies, ICT investment and trade, next-generation ICT networks, and discussions on U.S.-Mexico priorities for future wireless ecosystems.
PILLAR IV: INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE
The governments of the United States and Mexico 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.
Campaign to Support Economic Growth through Innovation and Creativity
- The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office collaborated to execute a joint public awareness campaign to support innovation by reducing or eliminating counterfeit (trademark infringing) goods and pirated (copyright infringing) content from supply chains. IMPI launched the “Choose the Original” campaign on its website: https://eligeeloriginal.impi.gob.mx.
Workforce Development in Strategic Areas
- The Workforce Development Working Group continued its work related to talent, apprenticeships, and education.
- The United States Embassy in Mexico launched the English, Ethics, and Environmental Awareness (E3) course at four vocational higher education institutions in Mexico on February 15, 2023. Three distinct courses for the automotive, information technology, and tourism sectors will provide 100 students at Bilingual International and Sustainable (BIS) technical institutions in Queretaro, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo with an opportunity to improve workplace readiness skills such as critical thinking and collaborative problem solving.
- On February 23, the Department of Labor and Mexico’s Secretaries of Labor and Economy held a virtual technical exchange to learn about each other’s apprenticeship programs and share best practices.
- The Department of Labor supported activities to increase economic advancement for vulnerable populations, such as women and girls of legal working age, including developing pilot employment programs in the industrial sector.
- The U.S. Department of Education and the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education are presently planning their first virtual dialogue on Career and Technical Education.
- Experts from the Community College Administrators Program visited institutions in Mexico to learn about the Technical and Vocational Education and Training ecosystem. They will use information gathered during this visit to shape a future in-person exchange program in Florida. Embassy staff will work with the experts to find 20-25 appropriate institution-level and executive-level participants. The in-person exchange will take place in Florida later in 2023 (likely late September-October).
- The Mexican Secretariat of Public Education and the University of Arizona are developing a national program to the improve practical experience and dialogues among industries and Higher Education Institutions in sectors related to food, energetics and health sovereignty, as well as semiconductors and postgraduate training in these fields.