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Remarks to December 2 Mexico Institute Dinner, Mexico City

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Welcome remarks for Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne

Mexico Institute Board Dinner

December 2nd 2019

Four Seasons Hotel, CDMX

Good evening ladies and gentlemen

It is a great pleasure to be with you for this evening and for our board meeting tomorrow morning. A special welcome to my Mexican Co-Chair Co-Chair: Luis Tellez, and to my predecessor and Co-Chair Emeritus: Roger Wallace.

We are very happy to have with us the U.S. Charge D’ Affairs John Creamer as well as so many distinguished friends and colleagues this evening. In particular, welcome to the members of the Mexico Institute Advisory Board of Directors. And, a special greeting to honored guests,

  • Daniel Servitje, President and CEO of Grupo Bimbo, and
  • Juan Pablo Rosas, Legal Counsel for Rassini, which has been a strong supporter of our effort to highlight the importance of Workforce Development for North America in the report we are releasing this month in Mexico City and Washington DC.

It has been a busy year at the Mexico institute as well as in the bilateral relationship between the United States and Mexico

  • We are one year and one day into the AMLO presidency. This new era in Mexico, frequently termed the Fourth Transformation, has already introduced various reforms and challenges in Mexico.
  • Earlier today, we held a Ground Truth Briefing on AMLO’s first year earlier today and the Mexico Institute has created a resource page on our website “AMLO at one year,” where a range of experts provide analysis of the achievements and struggles of the AMLO administration.
  • I hope you will explore the insights provided on the website.
  • While you are there, I hope you will look at the range of other papers, studies and events that the Mexico Institute has supported to highlight how important US-Mexico relations are and the complexity of the issues to be addressed.
  • I had the pleasure of talking this afternoon in our ground truth briefing about the three main pillars of US-Mexico relations over the past year:
  • Trade and Investment. Where Mexico is now the US’ largest trading partner but USMCA is not yet approved: we hope that will change in the weeks ahead.
  • Border security and migration, where numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border are reduced but many serious challenges remain.
  • Transborder criminal activity, particularly around drug trafficking, where little progress has been made and bilateral tensions have risen around the need for more action.

There is much critical work ahead to reduce uncertainty and return bilateral relations to strong forward-looking path with “win-win” outcomes for both countries.

We are heading into an election year in the U.S., and this will introduce additional challenges in the bilateral relationship.

All of these developments make our work at and with the Mexico Institute the more important. I look forward to discussing these issues with you tomorrow in our board meeting.

The Mexico Institute worked hard to share analysis and spur valuable discussion on these topics over the past year, as you will see from Duncan Wood’s report tomorrow:

  • Highlights include 219 media mentions, 21 op eds and articles, 70 TV and radio interviews, and 1 congressional testimony.
  • We also deepened investment in our North American Workforce Development Initiative, and we will release our updated report, North America 2.0: A Workforce Development Agenda with specific proposals on workforce development issues tomorrow after the conclusion of our meeting at 12:30pm.

Thank you for being here, and please enjoy your dinner. Buen provecho!