September 21, 2021

México and the U.S. Relaunch High-Level Economic Dialogue

By Iván Castañeda

On September 9, high level representatives from Mexico and the United States, including Vice President Kamala Harris, several Department Heads and Ambassadors, relaunched High-Level Economic Dialogue (“HLED”), a dialogue mechanism implemented in 2013 during the administrations of Presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Barack Obama. Attendees of the HLED discussed several important topics for both nations, including labor, immigration, automotive, energy and compliance with the USMCA.

The relaunched HLED will focus on four central pillars:

  1. Joint reconstruction. The purpose of this pillar is to strengthen existing and new supply chains and facilitate trade and infrastructure development in order to mitigate supply chain disruptions.
  2. Promoting sustainable economic and social development in southern Mexico and Central America. Both nations will identify opportunities to improve the livelihoods of individuals in those regions by creating jobs and economic opportunities, for purposes of mitigating immigration pressures.
  3. Securing tools for future prosperity. Both nations will collaborate on establishing regulatory compatibility to improve information sharing, risk mitigation and threats relating to information technology, communication, networks, cybersecurity, telecommunications and infrastructure, among others.
  4. Investing in our people. Both countries will work together to achieve a more inclusive workforce that is better educated, more competitive and better trained to meet the needs of the current economy.

In furtherance of these goals, relevant topics were discussed in various industries, and in particular the automotive industry. This also included participation of Mexico in the supply of semiconductors, as well as topics relating to the access to financing for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and financial inclusion. Additionally, U.S. authorities stated that the HLED will complement and reinforce the COVID-19 recovery process and have a positive impact on matters such as public security and climate change.

It was also established that both countries will regularly consult with civil society, private sector, academia, and other non-governmental organizations to contribute to the HLED, fostering open dialogue and ensuring transparency in decision-making.

Finally, to follow up with the goals established by the pillars, the countries created working-groups to focus attention on specific problems relating to supply chains and to work cooperatively in the investment in Central America.

The HLED represents an important milestone in the relationship between Mexico and the United States, and significant developments on the topics discussed are expected.