High-level representatives from the U.S. and Mexican Governments met in Mexico City on December 1 for the 14th Plenary Meeting of the 21st Century Border Management Process (21CB) Executive Steering Committee (ESC) to continue bilateral collaboration on key issues affecting our shared border. These include close coordination on important bilateral issues such as facilitating the legal flow of goods and people, modernizing border infrastructure, promoting public safety, and combatting transnational crime.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Rachel Poynter and DHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy Blas Nuñez-Neto led the U.S. delegation to the ESC alongside the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. Senior Director for Transborder at the National Security Council Katie Tobin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement at the Department of State Charisse Phillips, and Acting Deputy Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Benjamine “Carry” Huffman also joined the U.S. delegation. Roberto Velasco, Chief Officer for North America of the Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SRE) led the Mexican delegation. In addition, the U.S. government delegation included representatives from the Department of State, DHS, CBP, and the U.S. Department of Justice, while the Government of Mexico delegation included representatives from SRE, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, the Secretariat of the Economy, and the Tax Administration Service.
The ESC applauded major binational border achievements accomplished in 2022, including progress on binational border crossing infrastructure modernization and joint border security operations. The ESC also adopted 2023 Action Plans to guide bilateral border-related efforts, many of which support initiatives identified through the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue and U.S.-Mexico High-Level Security Dialogue.
21CB is a bilateral cooperation mechanism with a clear goal to improve border security and promote the economic competitiveness of North America. Since 2010, the ESC has held annual plenary meetings spanning three Mexican and U.S. presidential administrations. The December 1 meeting of the ESC continues binational progress made in 2022, including the July 2022 meeting between President Biden and President López Obrador which affirmed our commitment to greater U.S.-Mexican economic cooperation, accelerating the facilitation of bilateral trade, reducing trade costs, and implementing our multi-year joint U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure modernization efforts. These issues – including our close cooperation on border issues – are interlinked and foundational for the success of our region while also consequential to our own national security and economic interests.