Biden and Lopez Obrador talk about migration, COVID and trade

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US President-elect Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador had an initial telephone conversation, addressing issues important to their neighboring countries such as cross-border migration, the fight against COVID and bilateral trade, their governments informed.

Joe Biden, who is due to become president of the United States on January 20, “stressed the need to revitalize cooperation between the United States and Mexico, to ensure safe and orderly migration, contain COVID-19, regenerate economies North America and secure “the common border, the Democrat’s team said in a statement.

“The two leaders saw a common desire to tackle the root causes of migration in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and southern Mexico, and to build a brighter and more secure future for the region,” said this text.

“We reaffirm the commitment to work together for the well-being of our peoples and our nations,” Lopez Obrador wrote on his Twitter account.

“There will be broad bilateral cooperation and very good relations between the presidents of Mexico and the United States. Good news! »Welcomed the head of Mexican diplomacy, Marcelo Ebrard, on Twitter.

Mr. Ebrard assured that the two men had had a “cordial conversation”.

This is the first telephone contact between them, as Mr. Lopez Obrador was one of the last leaders in the world to congratulate Joe Biden on his electoral victory. He had waited for the success of the Democratic candidate to be ratified by the Electoral College, which had been criticized by analysts and political figures of the Mexican opposition.

According to the statement from Mr. Biden’s team, both agreed on the need to collaborate on a “new approach to regional migration that can offer an alternative to dangerous travel to the United States.”

When thousands of Central American residents formed a migrant caravan to the United States in 2018, President Donald Trump lobbied to impose tariffs on exports from Mexico if the Mexican government did not stop it. migratory flux.

Lopez Obrador, elected head of Mexico in 2018, has maintained a close relationship with him, despite the tensions.

Mr. Trump was notably elected in 2016 on the promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico, with a speech against illegal immigration in which he called Mexicans “rapists”, “criminals” and ” drug suppliers ”.

During the Trump presidency, however, Mexico City and Washington consolidated their trade relations.

Security and trade are in particular at the center of bilateral concerns, in particular following the recent entry into force of the new North American trade agreement USMCA (United States, Mexico, Canada), which had replaced the NAFTA.

More than 80% of Mexican exports go to the United States, according to official figures.

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