Reps. Cuellar and McCaul Lead U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group Meeting in San Diego to Discuss the USMCA
Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), October 28, 2019
San Diego, CA-- Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), the Chair of the U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group (IPG), and Congressman Michael McCaul, Co-Chair of the IPG and Lead Republican of Foreign Affairs Committee, led a congressional delegation to California to meet with Mexican lawmakers on several critical and timely issues facing our countries, including ratifying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), improving relations between our two countries, and our shared security challenges. The U.S.-Mexico IPG has been held regularly since 1961 to bring together legislators from both countries to discuss priority issues and identify ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation.
Congressman Cuellar said, “Mexico is a critical partner to the United States and is crucial to our own prosperity. They are not only our economic partner, they are our neighbor and friend. It has been 25 years since we ratified NAFTA, and now it is our time to update this trade agreement to reflect our 21st-century economy. As Chairman of the U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group, it is my mission to build and strengthen the current relationship between the U.S. and Mexico government by passing the USMCA this year. Under the new trade agreement, the USMCA requires stronger enforcements on labor and environmental provisions that were not considered previously.
Congressman Cuellar continued, “I will continue to work across the aisle to pass the USMCA to improve our relationship with Mexico and strengthen our economy for the American people. I want to thank Congressman McCaul, the rest of the Congressional members of IPG, and the delegation from Mexico for productive discussions to bolster our shared economic interests.”
Congressman McCaul said, “At such a critical time in U.S.-Mexico relations, this weekend’s 54th IPG meeting was a very positive discussion about the issues facing our two nations, including immigration, security, and trade.”
“We had in-depth discussions on the mutual benefits of the USMCA including job growth and protections of intellectual property, and I am hopeful that the House will pass this critical agreement soon. We also addressed shared security threats, including fentanyl and opioids coming from China, and reaffirmed our commitment to working together on a comprehensive counter-narcotics strategy that will enhance the public safety of both our nations. And while challenges remain, we recognized Mexico’s cooperation with the U.S. on managing the flow of illegal migrants to our border.”
Congressman McCaul continued, “I look forward to continued collaboration with IPG Chairman Cuellar and my Mexican counterparts to further strengthen our bilateral relationship and enhance the security and economic growth of our proud nations.”
United States Representatives
Championing the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Congress
Congressmen Cuellar and McCaul have been working across party lines to pass the USMCA. The Congressmen have been working with Mexican officials to address Mexico’s improved labor standards. Earlier this fall, Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, released a letter that outlines a budget proposal to enforce Mexico’s improved and historic labor reforms.
In August, Congressman Cuellar and Congressman Kevin Brady (TX-8) visited Mexico City to meet with Mexican officials, including Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Jesus Seade Secretary of Labor Maria Luisa Alcalde Luján, and Undersecretary of Foreign Trade Luz Maria de la Mora to discuss the progress of the agreement.
Improving the Environment Through Infrastructure Projects
The United States and Mexico face serious transborder environmental problems, including air and water pollution and disposal of hazardous wastes. The Rio Grande and Tijuana Rivers are especially environmentally hazardous. As a solution, NADBank provides financial support for the development and implementation of infrastructure projects to help preserve, protect, and enhance the environment at the borders.
This past month, Congressman Cuellar introduced the North American Development Bank Improvement Act to enhance the Bank by doubling its capital holdings authorization. This legislation further provides the Bank authorizes projects related to limited natural gas and land port of entry infrastructure. In addition, the bill calls on the Bank to streamline its financing, project approval process, and develop performance measures that reflect how proposed projects are providing intended benefits to the economy and livelihoods on both sides of the border.
Strengthening Economic Opportunities in Border Region
Congressmen Cuellar and McCaul have been strong advocates in promoting economic cooperation between the United States and Mexico in the 116th Congress. The Congressmen co-sponsored the United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act, which will strengthen professional development and economic growth in the energy, health, entrepreneurship, and education sectors.
The Congressmen also co-sponsored the United States-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act, which will help benefit the tourism industries in both countries. The bill seeks to reinvigorate spending by Mexican tourists in the U.S., which declined in 2017, after peaking at $20.6 billion in 2016. Mexican tourism to the United States peaked at nearly 19 million visitors in 2016, constituting 1 in 4 of all international tourists.
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), the Chair of the U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group (IPG), and Congressman Michael McCaul, Co-Chair of the IPG and Lead Republican of Foreign Affairs Committee, led a congressional delegation to California to meet with Mexican lawmakers on several critical and timely issues facing our countries.
Congressman Henry Cuellar met with President of the Political Coordination Board Mario Martín Delgado Carrillo.