JUNE 9, 2021
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday that Mexico was in a completely new phase of relations with the United States, a day after a visit by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris to Mexico City.
Calling Harris an “extraordinary woman”, Lopez Obrador said that meetings, during which the two countries agreed to deepen economic ties and invest to improve conditions in Central America to stem illegal immigration, had been “very good.”
“It’s a completely new phase,” he told reporters at a regular government news conference. “It was such a good meeting that I called her ‘president’.”
Harris’ visit will be followed by a trip to Mexico by U.S. Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas on June 14 to work with Mexico on how to lift pandemic-linked curbs on their shared border, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.
Because the restrictions would not all be lifted at once, the United States and Mexico would coordinate the reopening, and the talks with Mayorkas would be held on June 15, he added.
During her visit, Harris also pointed to Washington’s interest in helping Mexico to implement a new labor reform which aims to improve the rights of its workers.
Trade unions in the United States and Canada want the Mexican government to improve the rights of organized labor to boost wages and reduce incentives to outsource jobs to Mexico.
Lopez Obrador said Mexico needed to keep raising wages to narrow the gap between U.S. workers and their Mexican counterparts, citing the automotive sector as an example.