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Mexico City, Mexico Joint Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings Between President Carter and President Lopez Portillo.

February 16, 1979

At the invitation of the President of the United Mexican States, Licenciado Jose Lopez Portillo, the President of the United States of America, Jimmy Carter, made a visit to Mexico from the fourteenth to the sixteenth of February, 1979.

Both Presidents held extensive discussions in an atmosphere of sincerity, friendship, and mutual understanding. They reviewed international issues, hemispheric problems and bilateral matters, from the time when President Lopez Portillo made a State visit to Washington, D.C.—the first visit by a foreign Head of State to the United States after the inauguration of President Carter.

Both Presidents reviewed the operation of the U.S.-Mexican Consultative Mechanism, which was established during that visit to examine issues facing the two countries within the context of an overall bilateral relationship. In this regard, they decided to strengthen the mechanism and provide it with more dynamism, cohesion and flexibility for its more effective operation. To this end, they agreed that, in the light of the guidelines spelled out in this Joint Communiqué, concrete recommendations would be made within a period of four months on ways the mechanism can more effectively solve problems, taking into consideration the close relationship among these problems.

Upon reviewing the international scene and the grave problems that affect world peace, both Presidents reiterated their confidence in the United Nations, convinced that this institution is the best alternative to achieve a peaceful world with equity and justice. They also agreed that all possible efforts should be made so that the United Nations can achieve new dynatoism. They expressed their willingness to cooperate to this end within the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization. They also expressed support for the important work of the Organization of American States and the need to strengthen and modernize this regional organization.

They emphasized that a new international system should be guided by accepted principles of international conduct, particularly the following: non-intervention of the internal affairs of other States, the prohibition of the use of threat or force, respect for the self-determination of peoples, the peaceful solution of conflicts, and the sovereign right of each nation to take full advantage of its natural resources for the economic and social development of its people.

Both Presidents expressed their agreement that peace is more than just the absence of hostilities; peace also includes the elimination of hunger, disease, illiteracy, poverty, ignorance and injustice—tasks in which all countries of the international community share responsibility.

The Presidents examined the development of their economies within a global context. They agreed that major efforts should be made to adjust and improve the international economic system to take into account the interests and concerns of developing countries. They expressed their concern over the world-wide problems of inflation, unemployment, protectionism and monetary and financial difficulties. They recognized that it is important to assure the adequate transfer of real resources to developing countries and to promote stable economic and social development throughout the world.

The Heads of State committed themselves to use their best efforts toward the execution of the goals set by the Tenth U.N. Special Session on Disarmament, and, within this context, they also recognized the importance of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (the Treaty of Tlatelolco). President Lopez Portillo expressed his appreciation to President Carter for having signed Protocol I of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, and he also expressed his firm hopes that it will be ratified soon. President Lopez Portillo recognized the importance of reaching an agreement on strategic arms limitations as a solid base for further agreements in this field.

The Presidents exchanged opinions on the possible measures to limit the transfer of conventional weapons, both at a worldwide and regional level, and, in this context, President Carter reiterated the support of his Administration for self-restraint in the transfer of conventional weapons—efforts initiated by the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean during a meeting held in Mexico, in August of 1978. He also reiterated his Administration's policy to respect the decisions undertaken by the countries interested in this matter. The Presidents also recognized the importance of the U.N. Conference on Conventional Weapons to be held later this year.

The Presidents expressed their particular interest in strengthening international organizations engaged in the protection of guarantees of individual rights. They especially commended the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and urged other nations in the hemisphere to give it their full support.

Both leaders expressed their deep concern over the crisis that continues to affect the people of Nicaragua, violating their most fundamental human rights, reaffirming their decision to continue working through the United Nations and the Organization of American States, in the search for a democratic and fair solution to the conflict.

Upon reviewing trade relations between their countries, both Presidents expressed their satisfaction with the continuous growth of this exchange. President Lopez Portillo noted the historic trade deficit of Mexico with the United States, particularly if recent sales of Mexican oil are excluded, making known the convenience of taking all measures necessary to reduce it, permitting an increase in the export of Mexican merchandise, particularly those of higher value-added which would benefit both countries. President Carter emphasized the need to reduce trade barriers on a broad basis. In this connection, he called attention to the trade concessions offered by the United States which would be of significant benefit to Mexico.

President Lopez Portillo noted that the eventual membership of Mexico in GATT would depend, as it was stated in September, 1973, in Tokyo, on the consideration of special treatment to developing countries which should be measured in terms of equal treatment for equal countries and unequal treatment for unequal countries; on the final results of the multilateral trade negotiations; and on the terms of its negotiation on adherence to GATT, which it initiated on January 16 of this year. Mexico will make a decision which will depend on the compatibility of the liberalization of trade and with the stage and condition of Mexico's economic development.

President Carter expressed his strong support for expanding world trade and reducing trade barriers, and expressed his hope that Mexico would play a greater role in the shaping and the management of an improved world trading system.

The two Presidents agreed that the rapid and satisfactory conclusion of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations will represent an important step toward the improvement of the world's economy. They felt, however, that these negotiations could only end successfully if developing countries, such as Mexico, have an equitable participation in its results. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to fully implement the Tokyo Declaration, particularly with regard to differential treatment for developing countries.

They also agreed to try to conclude successfully and within the shortest period of time, their bilateral trade negotiations with the framework of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations. The Presidents reaffirmed the Tokyo Declaration to the effect that Mexico would make a contribution to the Multilateral Trade Negotiations only to the extent of its trade, finance and development possibilities. President Carter favorably recognized Mexico's effort in gradually eliminating non-tariff barriers and considered this effort as a potential contribution to the goals of the aforementioned negotiations.

The Presidents also agreed that the future expansion of trade between the two countries will require a continuous liberalization of both countries' trade policies, in accordance with the trade, financial and development needs of each nation. They also committed themselves to renew their efforts to this end and to carry out close consultations on trade and financial matters. President Lopez Portillo reasserted the Mexican Government's decision to continue the process of gradually eliminating non-tariff barriers, and to do so with prudence, caution and according to international economic conditions. President Carter noted that his Administration had given special attention to Mexico's export needs in the implementation of U.S. trade laws and committed himself to continue to oppose protectionism and to resist attempts to reduce the security of access to U.S. markets for Mexican products.

Both Presidents recognized the mutual benefits deriving from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences. However, President Lopez Portillo pointed out that the system contains serious limitations for its full utilization and that measures should be taken to improve the system, particularly with regard to the liberalization of the application of the so-called "competitive need clause". President Carter noted that Mexico's exports that entered under GSP have doubled in the last two years and that Mexico is the leading beneficiary of trade preferences in Latin America.

President Lopez Portillo expressed hope that the new rules of international trade would give due consideration to the interests of developing countries, and would not institutionalize the increasing protectionist actions by developed nations. President Carter noted that protectionism is a contagious condition which threatens all countries and pointed to his own record of opposition to protectionism which should be resisted in all countries.

The Presidents emphasized the importance of cooperation in the field of science and technology as a means for dealing with many economic and social problems. They also agree on the mutual advantages of intensifying this cooperation.

The Presidents expressed their satisfaction with regard to plans to reinforce the present mechanisms for scientific and technological cooperation between both nations, and asked the authorities in these fields of their respective nations to expedite the execution of these plans, within the framework of the mixed Scientific and Technological Cooperation Commission and the Consultative Mechanism.

To signal their commitment, the two Presidents took note of the two agreements signed during the visit, on Arid Lands Management and Urban Planning, and a Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Technical Cooperation, also signed during the visit. They also discussed plans for the Institute for Technological Cooperation, which they agreed would facilitate cooperative research and development between the two countries.

Both Presidents exchanged views on fishery matters because they considered this a priority interest for both nations, and agreed to carry on discussions in this important field.

The leaders had a wide-ranging discussion on energy, which included both its bilateral and global aspects. They agreed that it is not possible to separate energy resources from economic development, not only for countries who have them, but for countries that do not have them, and because of this, an economic order should be sensitive to the necessity to provide for the needs of the poor, and investment should be directed so as to encourage their industrialization.

Taking into consideration Mexico's potential as an energy-producing country, President Lopez Portillo reiterated that energy resources must be considered as the patrimony of mankind, so that the production, distribution and consumption of these resources be made in an orderly and rational fashion, and so that all alternative sources of energy be developed, including the financing and transfer of technologies that are accessible to all developing countries. President Carter expressed interest in this idea and willingness to explore these subjects further.

The two Presidents decided to start immediately the design of plans to collaborate in the field of energy, with a strict observance of their respective national policies, and to initiate or expand, whatever might be the case, trade in hydrocarbon products, electricity and other energy resources.

Both Presidents agreed to plan a joint Mexican-U.S. study on the possibilities of exchange of electric energy on a rational basis along their common border.

With regard to nuclear energy, President Carter noted the need to speed up the export of enriched uranium to Mexico to put in operation the electric-generating plants that the Mexican Government is planning.

Both Presidents also agreed to support and promote scientific and technological cooperation in the field of energy, including solar and geothermal energy. President Carter said that his government would be helpful in cooperating to enhance the technological capabilities in Mexico.

The results of these agreements, studies and talks would be included in the report of the Consultative Mechanism.

With regard to the eventual sale of surpluses of Mexican natural gas to the United States, the Presidents discussed the future possibility of such transactions.

On the part of the United States, President Carter pledged to develop means for expediting sales by Petroleos Mexicanos to purchasing companies.

On the part of Mexico, the government will re-evaluate the amount of the possible surpluses, taking into consideration the needs to be generated with the establishment of the National Gas Pipeline Network.

On this basis the two Presidents agreed to have their governmental representatives meet as soon as possible and begin discussing the best means to facilitate decisions on these matters.

The two Presidents agreed to examine jointly the prospects of future sales of crude oil and petroleum products from Mexico to the United States.

The phenomenon of the Mexican migrant workers was discussed within the overall context of social and economic relations between both countries. The two Presidents committed themselves to carry out a close bilateral cooperation in order to find an integral, realistic and long-term solution which would respect the dignity and the human rights of these workers, and which would also respect the many social, economic and development problems that are involved in this matter.

In this context, they agreed that their governments would continue to consult closely on all aspects of the migration question, including its economic and social implications in both countries, and agreed that the Joint Consultative Mechanism should meet promptly to share fully and jointly the results of their respective research and studies on this issue.

President Lopez Portillo reiterated that Mexico does not wish to export workers but goods, and also noted that the phenomenon of migrant workers is part of the employment problem whose solution is a priority concern of the Mexican State in a constitutional category and which is looked upon in Mexico's development programs. He added, however, that it is necessary to take into consideration that this is a matter of bilateral nature, of long history, that it is stimulated by a real demand, and that, in any event, it deserves respect with regard to its human aspect and requires a clear and objective analysis, taking into consideration that restrictive measures in other areas slow down the solution that both countries wish for this problem.

President Carter expressed concern about the problem of unlawful immigration into the United States and its impact on the United States. He took note of the responsibility of the United States Government to enforce the laws respecting immigration and the need to bring to justice those who traffic in undocumented migrants.

The Presidents discussed the status of border relations, reaffirming their goals to promote an adequate flow of goods and people, to fight all kinds of contraband which adversely affect the economies of both countries, and to strengthen cooperation between the authorities of both countries.

They noted with satisfaction the success of current programs in sharply reducing the traffic in dangerous drugs and pledged to continue to strengthen and expand their efforts to suppress the production and trafficking of illicit narcotics. President Carter took special note of the effective record of Mexican authorities in suppressing the traffic in narcotics. The two Presidents agreed to explore with neighboring countries the possibility of multilateral programs assisting them in strengthening narcotics control arrangements.

Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of having good quality and abundant water for the health and well-being of citizens on both sides of the border. They instructed the International Boundary and Water Commission, in the context of existing agreements, to make immediate recommendations for further progress towards a permanent solution to the sanitation of waters along the border.

The Presidents agreed to continue their consultations over a wide range of international political and economic matters, and reaffirmed their intention to maintain close contact and to give their personal and continuous attention to the reinforcement and broadening of the numerous areas of cooperation existing between their nations.

President Carter suggested that both Presidents meet again in the summer to examine the report of the Consultative Mechanism and to assess progress on the issues discussed in Mexico City. President Lopez Portillo gladly accepted this suggestion.

Jimmy Carter, Mexico City, Mexico Joint Communiqué Issued at the Conclusion of Meetings Between President Carter and President Lopez Portillo. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248764

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