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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Obama Hosts Central American Leaders

Honduras’ president attributes migration to crime, poverty and failed US legal system
More

S. Africa Launches Campaign Against US Cuba Sanctions

African National Congress launches the Cuban Solidarity Campaign to work against long-standing sanctions
More

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More