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Public Papers - 1990 - August

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the President's Meeting With the United States-Mexican Binational Commission

1990-08-08

President Bush met today with the U.S.-Mexican Binational Commission, whose annual meeting is taking place today in Washington. President Bush praised the work of the Commission, noting that the high-level attention given to its work is a sign of the importance both countries attach to managing their special relationship in a coordinated and amicable manner based on mutual respect.

Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Fernando Solana reported on the Commission's discussions of bilateral and international issues. These included trade and investment, antinarcotics cooperation, border relations, environmental issues, education, and agriculture.

President Bush heard from U.S. Trade Representative Carla A. Hills and Mexican Secretary of Commerce and Industrial Development Dr. Jaime Serra Puche, who jointly recommended to him and Mexican President Salinas the formal initiation of negotiations on a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). President Bush was pleased to learn that the Ministers agree that an FTA could create a more prosperous trade and investment relationship between Mexico and the United States and that they found substantial support in both countries for this view.

President Bush announced that, if President Salinas agrees, he expects to notify Congress formally when it reconvenes in September of the intent of the United States and Mexico to negotiate an FTA.

President Bush lauded Mexico's aggressive drug enforcement policy, which has given Mexico the world lead in cocaine seizures. The United States will continue to support these efforts through law enforcement cooperation and material assistance.

President Bush reiterated his admiration for President Salinas' dynamic leadership. He said he looked forward to his state visit to Mexico later this year in Monterrey, in President Salinas' home state, where the two Presidents will continue discussions on the issues dealt with in the Binational Commission.

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