Posted at 11:35 AM
On June 27, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo led a mid-year review of progress under the High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). Presidents Obama and Peña Nieto established the HLED last year to advance strategic economic and commercial priorities central to promoting mutual economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness. During the meeting, senior U.S. and Mexican government officials took stock of key accomplishments thus far on issues identified in the initial HLED work stream. The U.S. and Mexican governments have:
- Signed a Memorandum of Intent regarding cooperation on investment promotion in April;
- Executed a peer exchange on traffic and freight modeling with the goal of coordinating our binational strategic freight plans;
- Launched two border cluster mapping pilots to identify local industry assets to develop regional economic development strategies;
- Completed five of six border master plans, designed to better coordinate infrastructure and development in border communities;
- Executed the first Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in April, where businesses and government leaders toured technology centers, innovation hubs, and investment zones in the Southeast United States;
- Held six working group meetings on the Bilateral Forum for Education, Innovation, and Research, which was formally launched in May; and
- Began negotiations to modernize our Bilateral Air Service Agreement.
Additionally, transportation officials from both governments intend to move forward on Intelligent Transportation Systems collaboration, in order to facilitate traffic flow of freight and passenger vehicles. Also in May, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, in partnership with the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, hosted a conference highlighting opportunities contained in Mexico’s National Infrastructure Program.
The Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council’s (MUSEIC) seven subcommittees developed work plans to foster cross-border entrepreneurship by strengthening the legal framework, improving access to capital, developing regional innovation clusters, expanding small business development infrastructure, facilitating technology commercialization, promoting women’s entrepreneurship, and engaging the U.S.-based Latin American diaspora. MUSEIC has defined milestones within those goals and is on track to meet them. The United States and Mexico intend to connect Mexican small business development centers with U.S. centers to help small business owners and entrepreneurs in both countries.
The next cabinet-level HLED meeting will take place in fall 2014.
In May 2013, President Obama and President Peña Nieto announced the formation of the U.S.-Mexico HLED to promote economic growth in the United States and Mexico, create jobs for citizens on both sides of the border, and ensure our nations can compete globally. In September 2013, Vice President Biden, together with Mexican counterparts, formally launched the HLED.
The HLED, led at the cabinet level, will meet annually, while sub-cabinet members work to achieve those goals throughout the year. Private sector leaders and other interested members of civil society will join their government colleagues to discuss how best to improve trade with an eye on making North America’s shared economy stronger and more efficient for workers and businesses.
The U.S. side is co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of State, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and includes participation from other agencies, such as the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Labor, Transportation, and Treasury, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Mexican side is co-chaired by the Secretariats of Economy, Finance, and Foreign Relations, and includes participation from the Secretariats of Agriculture, Communications and Transportation, Education, Energy, and Tourism.
To achieve the goals of expanding opportunities for consumers, employees, entrepreneurs and business-owners on both sides of the border, Mexico and the United States developed an initial work plan in which both governments dedicated themselves to work together under three broad pillars:
- Promoting Competitiveness and Connectivity;
- Fostering Economic Growth, Productivity, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation; and
- Partnering for Regional and Global Leadership.
Within these pillars, our governments endeavor to:
- Improve logistics networks;
- Jointly promote investment;
- Deepen regulatory cooperation;
- Strengthen our shared border and make it more efficient;
- Foster entrepreneurship and innovation;
- Take other measures to better integrate our economies and make our region more competitive;
- Partner to promote development and electricity market integration in Central America;
- Advance trade liberalization at the regional and global levels; and
- Support transparency and anti-corruption through the Open Government Partnership.
To ensure stakeholder voices are a key part of the HLED, the Department of Commerce published a Federal Register notice seeking public comment, to which 39 stakeholders responded with input on issues ranging from regulatory cooperation to efficient border management. Similarly, the Mexican Secretariat of Economy solicited public comments through a notice published in its Diario Oficial, receiving 43 submissions on many of the same topics. We have closely considered this feedback and several items have been included in the HLED work stream. The United States has also created an HLED website (http://trade.gov/hled/) and e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive ongoing HLED input.
The HLED has already begun to produce measureable progress, and we will continue to push forward on key priorities as we prepare for the next Cabinet-level meeting in the fall.
For the HLED work stream specifics, click here.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Although the U.S. Federal Register public comment period is closed, we invite interested parties to submit questions and feedback via the HLED website and e-mail. The HLED features continuous government-to-government engagement throughout the year.