Neighbors Playing Nice

Jul 15, 2022

Oh, would you be my neighbor?

President Biden met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador this week to shore up their relationship after Obrador skipped a regional summit last month. Slowing mass migration and improving economic ties were top of the agenda, but agriculture also made the docket.

Why was Obrador skipping a regional summit? Well, it’s complicated.

The Mexican president criticized the U.S. for leaving out Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua from the meeting and has challenged the U.S. energy policies, drug enforcement, and the prosecution of Julian Assange.

Soundbite: “In spite of our differences and also in spite of our grievances that are not really easy to forget with time or with good wishes,” Mr. López Obrador said, many times “we’ve been able to coincide and we’ve been able to work together as good friends and true allies.”

The outcomes: Mexico plans to buy up to 20K tons of milk powder and up to 1M tons of ammonium sulfate fertilizer from the U.S.

Plus, some of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) tariffs could be suspended immediately.

The U.S. and Mexico presidents released a joint statement that also outlines the cooperation and dedication to the future of North America, including security, trade, workforce, climate change, and fully implementing USMCA.

The USMCA and other relevant issues will be addressed at the tenth North American Leaders Summit in Mexico at the end of this year.