President Andrés Manuel “AMLO” López Obrador of Mexico is in Washington today to meet with his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden. AMLO’s official trip takes place one month after his decision to boycott the 2022 Summit of the Americas after the U.S., which hosted the summit, excluded the authoritarian regimes of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the guest list.
There is plenty on the agenda between the two countries, including anti-drug policies (especially with the rise of the Mexican production of fentanyl, an opioid heavily consumed in the U.S.), security issues, and — of course — the ubiquitous question of migration.
Figures from 2020 show around 38.5 million U.S. residents “were either born in Mexico or reported Mexican ancestry” — equivalent to 10 percent of the U.S. population.
Andrew Rudman, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, says it will be an opportunity for the Biden administration to “re-institutionalize” bonds with its southern neighbor in a wide manner.
The team traveling with AMLO includes executives of Pemex, the country’s state-owned oil company. Conversations with both Mexican and U.S. business owners are on the schedule.
The U.S. is Mexico’s most important trade partner. According to official statistics, two-way trade between the two countries exceeded USD 661 billion in 2021.