Lee Joins Delegation to Mexico Urging Cooperation on Mutual Security Challenges
March 20, 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) joined a U.S. delegation to Mexico focused on continuing our economic partnership, stopping illicit drug trafficking, curbing illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, and addressing China's role in providing precursors for fentanyl production and laundering money for the cartels.
The delegation was led by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and included Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Reps. Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), and Maria Salazar (FL-27).
The delegation met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and members of his administration. They received briefings from U.S. intelligence officials, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar.
“Utah enjoys a strong economic and cultural partnership with Mexico. It was an honor to meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discuss ways to promote our shared values, advance our shared interests, and secure our shared border,” said Sen. Lee. “I’m grateful for U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar’s leadership and remain optimistic that our delegation’s visit will bolster our security and strengthen our relationship with our southern neighbor.”
“The United States and Mexico share a common border, which means we should have a shared interest in working together to address the security challenges that put American and Mexican lives at risk, including drugs, murderous cartels, and unchecked migration,” said Sen. Cornyn. “Our delegation made clear to President López Obrador that his administration must do more to address these issues so that we can maintain our historically strong economic and cultural partnership, and I am hopeful that our candid conversations will lead to collaborative solutions that make both countries safer and more prosperous.”
Mexico is the second-largest trading partner of the U.S. and Utah's third-largest export partner. U.S. trade with Mexico totaled 725.7 billion in 2021 and supported an estimated 1.1 million U.S. jobs.
Utah companies like Autoliv and Malouf have made substantial investments in Mexico, with small businesses in mining, education, and agriculture inputs thriving there. In 2021, Utah's total trade with Mexico totaled nearly $6.7 billion.
In 2021, Utah companies exported more than $1.1 billion in goods to Mexico, a 72% increase in the last decade. In the same year, Utah businesses imported more than $5 billion in goods from Mexico, a 55% increase from the previous decade.