Secretary of State John Kerry visit to Mexico – May 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry visited Mexico City on May 21 and 22, his first visit to Mexico as Secretary of State, during which he met with President Enrique Peña Nieto, Foreign Secretary Jose Antonio Meade, and Education Secretary Emilio Chuayffet. They discussed the full range of issues in what is one of the United States’ most important relationships, including education, security cooperation, modernizing infrastructure, managing our shared border and the interdependent and growing economic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and cooperation on international issues.  Secretary Kerry’s visit to Mexico highlights the numerous close connections that tie our two countries and our futures together. “There are few countries with whom the U.S. shares a dynamic and close relationship as the one we enjoy with Mexico. We are neighbors but we also have a common set of objectives. When one of us prospers, the other prospers as well. As North America becomes increasingly competitive, then our futures will be even more closely linked,” the Secretary said.

President Peña Nieto welcomed Secretary Kerry to Los Pinos, where they discussed the U.S. and Mexico’s extensive bilateral cooperation on a wide range of topics.  Secretary Kerry lauded the President for Mexico’s commitment to strengthening North America as an integrated regional block and increasing economic activity along our 2,000-mile border.  They also discussed our robust security cooperation, which is based on a commitment to shared responsibility among both countries, and our collaboration on many vital global issues.

Secretary Kerry joined Secretary Chuayffet and Secretary Meade in launching the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research.  Announced in May 2013 by President Obama and President Peña-Nieto, the Forum seeks to expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help U.S. and Mexico develop a 21st century workforce for our mutual economic prosperity. Present at the launch were National Science Foundation Director France Córdova, CONACYT President Enrique Cabrero, University California President Janet Napolitano, Arizona State University President Michael Crow and numerous other representatives of academia, civil society, and the private sector from both sides of the border.

Foreign Secretary Meade and Secretary Kerry had extensive discussions on key issues including regional cooperation, progress on the bilateral High-Level Economic Dialog (HLED) and our 21st Century Border agenda.  They also discussed current global and multilateral issues facing the international community and how the United States and Mexico can work together more effectively to address them.

Secretary Kerry visited the U.S. Embassy’s booth at the Feria de las Culturas Amigas (Festival of Cultures).  The Feria is an annual event hosted by the Mexico City Government as an opportunity for foreign embassies in Mexico to showcase their cultures and traditions.  At the Feria, the Secretary met with a small group of youth who participate in some of the Embassy’s flagship outreach programs: the English Access Microscholarship Program, Jóvenes en Acción (Youth in Action), and the Embassy’s Youth Council.

While at the Zócalo, the Secretary also took the opportunity to visit thePalacio Nacional (National Palace), where he received a detailed presentation on Diego Rivera’s murals depicting Mexican history, highlighting its rich artistic tradition.

Emphasizing the U.S.’ and Mexico’s commitment to sustainable growth on both sides of the border, the Secretary spoke at the USAID sponsored CleanTech Challenge Mexico 2014 inaugural event at the Museo Rufino Tamayo.  CleanTech Mexico is the top green business plan competition in Latin America, and received over 997 business plan submissions this year.  Secretary Kerry stressed the U.S.’s support for socially responsible innovation and entrepreneurship in Mexico to boost the competitiveness of our increasingly integrated North American economy.  “Our global economy is more interconnected, more mobile, and more dynamic than ever before.  So we know the hard work of diplomacy isn’t just about our shared security.  It’s also about creating shared prosperity,” said Secretary Kerry.

Additionally, the Secretary met with business and academic leaders to engage on key economic and trade issues that affect the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship.  They discussed the next steps in bilateral efforts to build a more competitive and connected North America.  They also discussed initiatives that are part of the High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), launched by Vice-President Biden in his visit last year.  One of those initiatives, the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC, or “The Council”) aims to enhance regional competitiveness by strengthening the North American high-impact entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Throughout his meetings and engagements in Mexico City, Secretary Kerry emphasized the U.S.’ continued commitment to increasing our interconnected trade, business, security, and educational relations. “It is our citizens who define the relationship between our countries. By increasing our education, economic and security cooperation, we can strengthen our respective countries and our overall relationship. We can also provide more opportunities and benefits for our people as we take advantage of our mutual growth”, Secretary Kerry said.