It’s been a big week for U.S.-Mexico relations, and that was even before President Joe Biden becomes the first U.S. leader to visit Mexico in nearly a decade.
In the lead-up to that trip, Biden announced a major border policy shift, with Mexico’s blessing, that will result in the United States sending 30,000 migrants from four other countries per month back across the border. In Mexico, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s security forces nabbed one of the sons of imprisoned former Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, touching off violence that left 30 dead and dozens injured. The son, Ovidio Guzmán, is a reputed drug trafficker wanted by the United States.
The two presidents, along with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will gather in Mexico City on Monday and Tuesday for a North American leaders summit. Even with progress on the migration issue, there is much to discuss: climate change, manufacturing, trade, the economy, and the potential global clout of a more collaborative North America.
Biden arrives at the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City on Monday afternoon and the presidents will meet before Trudeau joins them for dinner. Biden and Trudeau will hold talks Tuesday and then the three will gather for discussions. It will be the first time since 2014 that Mexico has hosted a U.S. president.
Biden hopes to use the summit “to keep driving North America’s economic competitiveness and help promote inclusive growth and prosperity,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
For the U.S., the major talking points are migration, drug trafficking, and building on Biden’s push on electric vehicles and manufacturing.
Lopez Obrador is focused on economic integration for North America, supporting the poor in the Americas and regional relationships that put all governments on equal footing.
The U.S. and Mexico are expected to continue discussions about ending a dispute over U.S. corn after Mexico announced it would ban imports of genetically modified corn. In addition, Mexico is seeking money to boost solar energy projects.