U.S., Mexico officials stress partnership achievements


In a significant step towards bolstering bilateral economic ties, top officials from the United States and Mexico met virtually on April 19, 2024, focusing on progress made since last September’s ministerial session, underscoring the robust economic partnership between the two nations, and emphasizing shared achievements in supply chain integration, environmental cooperation, and workforce development.

Progress Under HLED Pillars

Pillar I: Building Back Together

Strengthening Supply Chains: The U.S. and Mexico have advanced a joint semiconductor supply chain action plan. The plan focuses on integrating regional supply chains, enhancing the The Mexican Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications, and Information Technologies (CANIETI) convened a series of semiconductor forums, catalyzing dialogue among various stakeholders to promote the development of semiconductor supply chains in North America.investment climate, attracting new investments in assembly, testing, and packaging (ATP), and fostering local-level dialogues to promote investments in the semiconductor industry. Notably, a community college initiative during the January-May 2024 semester saw eleven Mexican engineering students participate in the Automated Industrial Technology program at Mesa Community College in Arizona.

Investment Facilitation: Mexico’s Secretariat of Economy launched the One-Stop Shop for Investors (VUI) to promote global investments. This platform has been actively promoted to technology investors and the U.S. semiconductor industry, particularly in Arizona, California, and Texas.

Sectoral Forums: The Mexican Chamber of Electronics, Telecommunications, and Information Technologies (CANIETI) convened a series of semiconductor forums, catalyzing dialogue among various stakeholders to promote the development of semiconductor supply chains in North America.

OECD Collaboration: The OECD, with U.S. funding, is conducting a study on Mexico’s semiconductor ecosystem, focusing on ATP segments and providing recommendations to foster the ecosystem.

Environmental Cooperation: The U.S. EPA and Mexico’s SEMARNAT co-hosted a webinar addressing plastic waste and marine litter, showcasing state-level projects. A follow-up webinar on scrap tire management connected ongoing border-wide efforts and outlined state policies.

Border Infrastructure Improvements: The U.S. and Mexico have made significant strides in border infrastructure projects. Recent accomplishments include the modernization of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry (POE), progress on the Bridge of the Americas POE feasibility study, and the start of southbound transit of empty commercial vehicles at the Donna POE.

Medical Device Trade Facilitation: USAID completed its Medical Devices Regulatory Convergence project, providing training and technical assistance to COFEPRIS. The U.S. FDA continues collaborating with COFEPRIS, helping it align with international standards.

Pillar II: Promoting Sustainable Development

Addressing Migration Root Causes: The U.S. and Mexico, through the Sembrando Oportunidades initiative, have worked to create jobs and opportunities in southern Mexico and northern The U.S. and Mexico, through the Sembrando Oportunidades initiative, have worked to create jobs and opportunities in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Central America. The program has benefited thousands of farmers and young people in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Trilateral Cooperation: The U.S., Mexico, and Canada have partnered to enhance gender equality and youth participation in regional value chains, with Canada announcing a $17.5 million project to support these goals in Honduras.

Economic Investments: Over the last two years, USAID mobilized over $33 million in economic development investments in southern Mexico, benefiting over 30,000 people. New programs are set to launch, aiming to mobilize an additional $10 million within three years.

Pillar III: Securing Future Prosperity

Cybersecurity Cooperation: In April 2024, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in collaboration with Mexico’s SICT, convened a cybersecurity workshop to preview NIST’s new Cybersecurity Framework 2.0. The workshop aimed to help organizations develop their own cybersecurity frameworks based on international standards.

Pillar IV: Investing in Our People

Workforce Development: The U.S. and Mexico continue to enhance workforce training to support strategic sectors like semiconductors, automotive, aerospace, and ICT. Key initiatives include:

  • English for Semiconductor Industry: Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) launched an online pilot program in March 2024, with over 5,000 students enrolled.
  • Competency Certification: A Binational Virtual Dialogue on competency certification processes is set to take place in spring 2024, involving companies from the automotive sector in both countries.

Looking Ahead

The HLED Mid-Year Review emphasized the ongoing efforts and achievements in strengthening the U.S.-Mexico economic partnership. Both nations remain committed to leveraging their economic integration to foster regional prosperity, expand job creation, promote investment, and reduce inequality. As the HLED progresses, further advancements in supply chain integration, environmental cooperation, and workforce development are anticipated, reinforcing the dynamic commercial relationship between the United States and Mexico.