News / Americas

Obama, Mexico President Pledge Closer Economic, Security Ties

Obama in Mexico to Boost Trade, Security Cooperationi
X
May 03, 2013 11:07 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama is visiting Mexico and Costa Rica Friday and Saturday, to boost bilateral trade and discuss issues such as U.S. immigration reform, border security and cultural exchanges. Zlatica Hoke reports immigration was a sensitive issue as Mr. Obama wants tougher border controls and some Mexicans want none.
Obama in Mexico to Boost Trade, Security Cooperation
Kent Klein
U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto both say they will work together to further integrate their countries’ economies, and to fight cross-border crime. The two leaders met Thursday in Mexico City.

After their meeting, President Obama said he and Pena Nieto are working to further bolster an economic relationship that already produces a half-trillion dollars in trade each year.

“We are your largest customer, buying the vast majority of Mexican exports.  Mexico is the second-largest market for U.S. exports.  So every day, our companies and our workers, with their integrated supply chains, are building products together,” Obama said.

The two presidents agreed to upgrade the infrastructure at the border, hold more frequent high-level discussions on trade, and enhance their economic outreach to Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

Both leaders have emphasized their desire to shift the focus of U.S.-Mexican relations away from drugs and security to the economy.

That move could strengthen the relationship, according to analyst Carl Meacham at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“This bodes well for the administration and it offers the administration an opportunity to put together different elements that could make this relationship new, contemporary, and make people excited about the United States and the region in a way that it hasn’t been done in the past,” Meacham said.

Security was a main topic in the meeting, however.  President Pena Nieto has moved to limit the access that U.S. security agencies have had in Mexico to fight drug trafficking and organized crime.

The Mexican leader downplayed that change, and said it would not diminish cooperation with the U.S. on cross-border security.

Obama said Washington will “cooperate on the basis of mutual respect” to tackle the problem.

“We will interact with them in ways that are appropriate, respecting that ultimately, Mexico has to deal with its problems internally, and we have to deal with ours as well,” Obama said.

Obama pledged to work to reduce the U.S. demand for illegal drugs and the number of illegal guns into Mexico.  Despite the recent failure of several gun control bills in the Senate, the president said he will persist on the issue.

He said he is optimistic that immigration reform legislation will pass in Congress, and that the initiatives have support in both parties. Pena Nieto expressed his support for Obama’s efforts to get the bills passed.

This is the president’s first visit to Latin America since his re-election, and his first meeting with Pena Nieto since the Mexican president took office.

Obama speaks to an audience of Mexican students Friday, before moving on to Costa Rica to meet with Central American leaders.  Trade and security are expected to be high on the agenda there as well.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: BSDetector from: Oith
May 03, 2013 2:25 PM
Will Mexico's drug cartels be getting more guns, ala Fast and Furious (not the movie)?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deali
X
July 07, 2015 12:02 PM
If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Colombian Peace Talks' Sponsors Worry About War Escalation

Statement by Norway, Cuba, Chile and Venezuela says it's essential that parties tone down conflict, step up confidence-building measures
More

Brazil's Rousseff Tells Newspaper She Rejects Opposition Calls to Quit

President says she plans to finish term, continue with efforts to narrow budget deficit
More

Carnival Aims to Launch Miami-Cuba Cruises in May 2016

Pending Cuban approval, Carnival would become first American cruise company to visit island since 1960 trade embargo
More

Pope Urges Latin America to Find Unity Through Common Faith

Pope Francis said Mass for nearly one million Catholics in the Quito, Ecuador Tuesday, leaves Wednesday for Bolivia, then heads to Paraguay on Friday
More

Venezuela Recalls Ambassador to Guyana Amid Territory Dispute

OPEC nation in June demanded Guyana halt exploration off coast of region known as the Essequibo, weeks after ExxonMobil said it had found oil
More

CONCACAF Details Rebuilding Plans After FIFA Scandal

North and Central American and Caribbean soccer body publishes anti-corruption proposals Monday after its two of its officials were implicated in racketeering
More