Guillermo Vogel
Vice Chair, Tenaris
Patrick Ottensmeyer Patrick Ottensmeyer
President & CEO, Kansas City Southern

Published

September 12, 2022

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U.S. and Mexican officials are set to meet today in Mexico City to hold a second edition of the re-launched U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED). Created in 2013, the HLED has historically served as a forum through which both governments advance the strategic economic and commercial priorities for both countries. On the agenda for this meeting will be a discussion around strengthening regional supply chains and “exploring the vision for North America over the next 20 years.”

It certainly seems like the right time to focus on strengthening the bilateral commercial relationship, which currently faces challenges due to an ever-growing list of USMCA implementation and interpretation challenges from both governments. It’s against this backdrop that the business community simultaneously raises its voice to both express concerns and to celebrate bilateral achievements. To encourage more of the latter, we are proud to collaborate with our two governments to find innovative solutions to the challenges both countries face. The objective is to advance shared economic and political objectives through the HLED, under the USMCA framework, and more broadly in the bilateral economic relationship. The private sector is convinced that the two countries’ economic recovery from the pandemic will be stronger together, that’s why we believe the relevance and importance of the HLED has never been higher.

Concurrent with the formation of the HLED, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mexico’s Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE) launched the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue in 2013 as its business counterpart. It is the main mechanism for high-level interaction between business and public officials from both countries. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Mexico´s Economy Secretary Tatiana Clouthier, Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and other senior Mexican and U.S. government officials participated in our most recent plenary of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, held on July 13, 2022, in Washington. Top U.S. and Mexican CEOs touted USMCA’s benefits while highlighting implementation challenges that the private sector called on both governments to help resolve.

Throughout its nine years, the CEO Dialogue’s overarching objective has been to increase economic ties between Mexico and the United States through joint public policy recommendations on trade and investment priorities. Said recommendations have consistently been designed to enhance the bilateral economic relationship towards the aim of ensuring that North America is the world’s most competitive region.

In advance of the September 12 HLED meeting, the CEO Dialogue convened its members to prepare and submit private sector policy recommendations which were submitted to both governments. The CEO Dialogue promotes policy priorities in five working groups, each co-chaired by a U.S. and Mexican company: Investment; Trade Facilitation; Trade Policy; Services; and Energy and Climate Change.

Complementing the four thematic pillars of the HLED, the CEO Dialogue’s five working groups developed a set of tangible and actionable recommendations that we believe will support the above-mentioned objectives in both the short- and long-term. These include:

  • Pillar I – Building Back Together by ensuring full compliance with USMCA, establishing a binational protocol to reduce economic disruptions during future crises (Trade Policy Working Group), prioritizing actions that promote energy security and guarantee access to clean and reliable electricity and fuel at competitive prices (Energy and Climate Change Working Group); strengthening North American supply chains in medical equipment and printed circuit boards (PCBs) (Investment Working Group); and improve the border infrastructure, establish a joint inspection program for fruits and vegetables at the Nuevo Laredo port of entry and reinstitute the public-private dialogue with Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) and the National Customs Agency (ANAM) (Trade Facilitation Working Group).
  • Pillar II – Promoting Sustainable Economic and Social Development in southern Mexico and Central America by establishing a “one stop shop” that facilitates investment and supports efforts to attract specific supply chain elements (Investment Working Group).
  • Pillar III – Securing the Tools for Future Prosperity by strengthening the digital economy via the expansion of connectivity and the optimization of cybersecurity (Services Working Group).
  • Pillar IV – Investing in Our People by advancing entrepreneurship, strengthening small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and promoting financial inclusion (Services Working Group).

The binational business community represented by the CEO Dialogue is committed to working with the U.S. and Mexican governments through the HLED to contribute to a constructive discussion and to advancing strategic economic and commercial priorities that will translate into mutual economic growth, job creation, resilience and competitiveness. As Presidents López Obrador and Joe Biden said in their joint statement of July 12, “As neighbors, friends and family, we are united as two nations that share one future.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why the business community on both sides of the border is committed to work with the HLED and both governments to ensure the most competitive North America possible.

About the authors

Guillermo Vogel

Vice Chair, Tenaris

Patrick Ottensmeyer

Patrick Ottensmeyer

President & CEO, Kansas City Southern