Mexico and the US: New Ties?

Relations between Mexico and the United States, while negotiating a meeting between Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Joe Biden.

While negotiating a meeting between Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Joe Biden, U.S.-Mexico relations seem to be at the beginning of a restructuring of their ties, starting with the economy and now with the reexamination of their security cooperation.

According to both Mexican and American sources, it’s possible that the meeting between the two leaders will be before the end of the year, although discussions are still in the beginning phase, deciding location, date and time.

Even so, the personal meeting between the two politicians would be an attempt to underline the importance of ties that, whether they’re wanted or not, are deeply domestic for both countries. For the time being, it is precisely the political demands that, realistically and to a large extent, force them to take this route.

The desire of López Obrador’s government to create a new framework for bilateralism coincides with the need of Biden’s regime to look for new solutions to problems with a serious political impact, such as migration and drug trafficking.

Here, however, the idea is in finding balance, especially due to the perception of mistrust on both sides of the border, indicated by the limitations imposed by the Mexican government on what it sees as a surplus of U.S. police agencies who investigate drug trafficking. The prevailing impression, in any case, is that bilateral relations are not the best at the moment.

But without doubt the two governments are now also looking to agree on topics ranging from cooperation in terms of security to issues linked with agreements about water on the border, from the economy to the environment.

The recent arrival of Ken Salazar, an influential Latino politician who identifies as Mexican American, had a positive impact: He’s the only ambassador of the more than 30 appointed by Biden who has been confirmed in the U.S. Senate in the last eight months.

Salazar operates under the motto that the U.S. and Mexico are two nations with a common destiny; he reminds them that they are now hosts to enormous bilateral human, cultural and economic ties.

The ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma, is a former secretary of public education and the former director of a foundation that at the time searched for connections with Mexican communities in the U.S. The renewed interest is reflected in the reinstatement of the “High-Level Dialogues,” which were canceled during Donald Trump’s presidency between 2017 and 2020.

The meeting dedicated to the economy took place in September in Washington, with goals subject to periodic examinations, and the one focused on security arrangements was carried out today, Friday [Oct. 8], in Mexico City. The main idea is there seems to be a basic agreement on the community of problems and the need to look for cooperative solutions.

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