When President Trump hosted Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this week at the White House, the two leaders weren’t simply celebrating the historic United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which took effect on July 1.
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The United States’ partnership with Mexico is deepening in ways that were unimaginable even a few years ago.
From the successful negotiation of the USMCA to our cooperation to combat illegal immigration to securing our common borders, to fighting arms traffickers, U.S.-Mexico relations have never been closer, stronger, better, or more productive.
These developments directly benefit the American and Mexican people by promoting our shared national security and our economic prosperity goals.
The USMCA is the centerpiece of our strengthened ties. It sets the conditions to ignite the United States’ manufacturing sector and create good jobs – both vital for our post-pandemic economic recovery.
It promotes the American auto industry with incentives for new investment. It opens up more access for our farmers and ranchers to Canadian and Mexican markets.
It champions our creators and innovators with new protections for American intellectual property.
All told, the USMCA proves President Trump’s commitment to crafting a 21st-century trade agreement that fulfills his promise for a fair and reciprocal trade policy that benefits all American workers, farmers, ranchers, innovators, and businesses.
The timing couldn’t have been better, either. The deal was finalized before China’s mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak upended the global economy, and the USMCA’s benefits will help drive our vigorous recovery.
In the meantime, the Trump administration is committed to working with our Mexican partners to prevent further economic disruption, and to support American businesses operating in Mexico.
Our governments have cooperated at federal and regional levels to secure the critical flow of goods and services across our shared border during this unexpected economic upheaval.
Mexico’s commitment to maintaining essential supply chains and business operations during the pandemic has been outstanding.
We are also committed to public health and safety. Our two nations implemented a temporary restriction on non-essential, non-trade travel – such as tourism – across the U.S.-Mexico border as of March 21, with the intent to limit the spread of the pandemic. And we continue to work together to discourage Mexican citizens from crossing our border illegally.
One little-noticed diplomatic success was the signing of the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration, which addresses the migration crisis at our southern border.
Since taking effect in June 2019, illegal immigration of third-country nationals transiting through Mexico has decreased by a stunning 90 percent as Mexico actively increased immigration enforcement – a victory for law and order.
The success of the Joint Declaration is further proof of the constructive collaboration between Presidents Trump and Lopez Obrador.
Finally, the U.S.-Mexico relationship has been effective in protecting American lives. Our countries endeavor every day to disrupt transnational criminal organizations, which are responsible for the vast majority of fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine entering the United States, as well as the spread of violence and insecurity in Mexico.
Our joint efforts target the drug cartel business model. We are prioritizing the reduction of drug production, the deterrence of cross-border movement of drugs, cash and weapons, and the denial of illicit revenue to these criminals.
U.S.-Mexico bilateral relations have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans and Mexicans alike.
We are thrilled to celebrate with the people and government of Mexico a win for our economies with the USMCA, as well as many other victories – all in the midst of a global health crisis.
We have much to be proud of thus far, and much more yet to accomplish together in the future.
Michael R. Pompeo is United States Secretary of State.