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Joint Statement by the United States of America and Mexico

March 14, 2007

Mexico and the United States, as proud and sovereign countries, today reiterate their conviction that the shared values of democracy, transparency, rule of law, and respect for human rights are the solid foundation on which the increasingly rich and complex networks that link their economies and societies are based.

Presidents Felipe Calderon and George Bush resolved during their first official meeting in Mexico on March 13 and 14, 2007 in Merida, Yucatan, to strengthen the partnership between two friendly neighbors. They agreed that government to government relations are but one small measure of the interaction between our two great countries. Our ties are deeper and wider: they are societal, economic, cultural, and familial.

During their meeting, the Presidents reviewed the wide range of issues of the bilateral relationship and the cooperation undertaken by their governments in order to promote productive and mutually beneficial relations between Mexico and the United States. The Presidents identified new opportunities to work together in order to improve the quality of life of their peoples as well as to make North America the most prosperous, secure and competitive region in the world.

In this vein, the Presidents acknowledged that economic growth and job creation are vital to reducing poverty and inequality and improving the quality of life. They emphasized the centrality of expanding trade between the United States and Mexico as the basis for our shared prosperity. They recognized the need for our governments to work together to speed and facilitate the secure and ever-expanding movement of legitimate goods and people across our shared border, including the development of new infrastructure and the more efficient use of existing infrastructure, where possible.

In seeking to enhance North American competitiveness based on the twin pillars of security and prosperity, the Presidents also underscored their awareness regarding the need to work together to facilitate the transition to full free trade in such areas as agricultural products. To this end, the Presidents agreed to intensify the discussions within the framework of the bilateral working group on corn and dry beans.

The Presidents recognized the continued threat to both nations posed by organized crime and drug trafficking, especially their associated violence, which do not respect borders. They underlined that the important efforts of the Mexican Government to confront organized crime head-on, as one of the most important priorities of its own domestic agenda, would benefit from increased support from and cooperation with the United States. In this connection, they reiterated their commitment to intensify cooperation and information sharing between the law enforcement agencies of Mexico and the United States, especially along the border region. The Presidents stressed their commitment to increase bilateral cooperation to target criminal organizations, fight arms trafficking, which fuels the violence of criminal organizations, as well as drug trafficking, including methamphetamine and precursor chemicals, and illicit financial activities, including bulk currency smuggling across our borders.

The management of the U.S.-Mexican border is a shared responsibility. Our common fight against organized crime must be accompanied by cooperative actions in other areas which will also promote the security, prosperity and well-being of our border communities. Improved communication and information-sharing at all levels will allow us to continue to transform the border into a region of growing and shared prosperity.

Recognizing that the border region encompasses a remarkable diversity in landscape and native species, the Presidents acknowledged the need to continue efforts to protect our shared natural resources, including air and water, through binational cooperation.

The Presidents recognized that immigration across our common border vitally links both countries, involves shared responsibilities, and represents one of the most critical issues for the future well-being of both our peoples. In this regard they underscored the need to encourage productive investment aimed at creating more and better paid jobs in Mexico as an essential component of any comprehensive strategy to address this phenomenon and agreed on the need to continue advocating an approach to comprehensive immigration reform.

The Presidents also agreed to explore opportunities for people-to-people exchanges, especially in education, as a central tool in fostering greater understanding between our two countries. In this context they stressed that the investment Mexico and the United States make in human capital must be considered an essential component of their efforts to promote North America's competitiveness and economic growth with justice and security for our peoples.

Finally, Presidents Calderon and Bush reiterated their conviction that the future of Mexico and the United States—and of the whole North American region—is now, more than ever, a shared future. Our commitment to the advancement of democracy, the respect for human rights, the promotion of free markets, the rule of law, security, sustainable development, and expanding opportunity for all, they underlined, will contribute to the consolidation of a prosperous, just, and peaceful future for all citizens in the Americas.

NOTE: The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this joint statement. An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.

George W. Bush, Joint Statement by the United States of America and Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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