KAINE, PORTMAN LEAD BIPARTISAN CODEL TO MEXICO, MEET WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, BUSINESS AND CIVIL SOCIETY LEADERS, DISCUSS COVID RELIEF EFFORTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, concluded a two-day visit to Mexico City, Mexico. Kaine and Portman led a bipartisan congressional delegation, including Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), to discuss bilateral issues with Mexican government officials and business and civil society leaders. During their meetings, the Senators also discussed U.S. efforts to help Mexico fight COVID, including the recent shipments of over 4 million vaccines to Mexico.
“The U.S.-Mexico alliance is one of our nation’s strongest and most important,” said Senator Kaine. “I was impressed by the deep commitment to cooperation from the government, civil society, and business leaders we met with these past two days, especially when it comes to our shared commitment to upholding the rule of law, addressing the root causes of migration, and enhancing our trade relationship. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the partnership with our neighbor Mexico across the broad spectrum of economic and security issues central to our relationship.”
“This week’s visit to Mexico reaffirmed the shared commitment between our two countries to strengthening our alliance and building on our already strong relations,” said Senator Portman. “I appreciated our discussion with President Lopez Obrador and Foreign Secretary Ebrard on stemming the flow of illegal immigration and illegal drugs into both Mexico and the United States, the implementation of the USMCA trade agreement, and the importance of mutual coordination in vaccinating the Mexican people against COVID-19.”
In meetings with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico Marcelo Ebrard, the Senators thanked them for their longstanding partnership with the United States and discussed the importance of fostering fair trade in North America and Latin America. The delegation also stressed the importance of working together to address the root causes of migration in Latin America, cooperating on border security measures, and supporting efforts to reduce illegal drug trafficking and drug-related deaths on both sides of the border. The delegation continued these discussions focused on migration with Director of North American Affairs Roberto Velasco and other Government of Mexico officials.
The delegation also met with business leaders to discuss USMCA and steps both countries can take to increase trade and investment in mutually beneficial ways. They also talked about how both countries can partner together to create more private sector investment in the Northern Triangle, leading to more jobs in those countries, stemming the flow of migration, and improving the security and prosperity of the region.
The delegation also joined a roundtable with Mexican civil society leaders to discuss the importance of human rights and promoting press freedom in Mexico and around the world. Kaine discussed his bipartisan efforts to help keep foreign journalists safe; use existing funding to prevent, investigate, and prosecute crimes against journalists overseas; and create a new visa category to allow threatened journalists to come to the U.S.