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Joint Statement by President George Bush and President Vicente Fox Towards a Partnership for Prosperity: the Guanajuato Proposal

February 16, 2001

We met today at Rancho San Cristobal, in Guanajuato, in a dialogue of friends and neighbors to agree on important goals and principles that will govern relations between our two countries.

We are united, as never before, by values and interests that cover the entire span of our rich and broad relationship. That relationship is grounded in our respect for democracy and human rights, not just for ourselves but for all people in every nation. We share a fundamental commitment to free trade as an engine of economic growth and development that leaves nobody behind. And, we are committed to ensuring the rule of law, the framework on which our people's freedom and prosperity depends. This common outlook is the basis for a full, mature, and equitable partnership for prosperity.

Among our highest priorities is unfettering the economic potential of every citizen, so each may contribute fully to narrowing the economic gaps between and within our societies. We acknowledge the dynamism achieved through NAFTA, which has ushered in dramatic increases in trade that have transformed our economic relationship. After consultation with our Canadian partners, we will strive to consolidate a North American economic community whose benefits reach the lesser-developed areas of the region and extend to the most vulnerable social groups in our countries. To this end, we support policies that result in sound fiscal accounts, low inflation, and strong financial systems.

Migration is one of the major ties that bind our societies. It is important that our policies reflect our values and needs, and that we achieve progress in dealing with this phenomenon. We believe that Mexico should make the most of the skills and productivity of their workers at home, and we agree there should be an orderly framework for migration which ensures humane treatment, legal security, and dignified labor conditions. For this purpose, we are instructing our Governments to engage, at the earliest opportunity, in formal highlevel negotiations aimed at achieving short and long-term agreements that will allow us to constructively address migration and labor issues between our two countries. This effort will be chaired by the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of the U.S. and the Secretary of Foreign Relations and the Secretary of the Interior of Mexico.

We attach the utmost importance to issues affecting the quality of life along our common border. We shall work for the economic and social development of our border communities, fight violence and strive to create a safe and orderly environment. We will form a new high-level working group under the auspices of the Binational Commission to identify specific steps each country can take to improve the efficiency of border operations. We will begin immediate discussions to implement the NAFTA panel decision on trucking.

Drug trafficking, drug abuse, and organized crime are major threats to the wellbeing of our societies. To combat this threat, we must strengthen our respective law enforcement strategies and institutions, as well as develop closer and more trusting bilateral and multilateral cooperation. We want to reduce the demand for drugs and eliminate narcotrafficking organizations. To this end, we will undertake immediate steps to review law enforcement policies and coordination efforts in accordance with each country's national jurisdiction. We will consult with our NAFTA partner Canada regarding development of a North American approach to the important issue of energy resources. Building on the strength of our respective cultures, we will seek to expand our partnership broadly in ways that help secure a better future for our people. Education is a key to that future; we will increase exchanges and internships that help develop human capital and promote respect for each other's rich cultural heritage. We will seek new cooperation in science, technology, and the environment, on which much of our economic progress and our people's well-being will depend. Beyond the bilateral agenda, our two Governments are also ready to discuss regional and hemispheric issues important to both our nations. The Summit of the Americas, to be held in April in Quebec City, will provide a valuable forum in which the hemisphere's democracies can address and advance shared goals of strengthening democratic institutions and stimulating economic prosperity through free trade and education. We reaffirm our support for the creation of a Free Trade Area of the Americas as soon as possible.

We believe our two nations can now build an authentic partnership for prosperity, based on shared democratic values and open dialogue that bring great benefits to our people. We want to move beyond the limitations of the past and boldly seize the unprecedented opportunity before us. In order to achieve these goals and follow up on the commitments we made today, we have agreed to meet frequently, as necessary, over the course of our respective terms of office. We will do so as friends, in a spirit of mutual trust and respect.

NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

George W. Bush, Joint Statement by President George Bush and President Vicente Fox Towards a Partnership for Prosperity: the Guanajuato Proposal Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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