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Event Summary

Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, delivered a keynote address before a full room at AEI on Wednesday morning, explaining the complexities of the US-Mexican relationship — namely the bilateral integration process. He emphasized that the amount of shared interests between the US and Mexico is unprecedented, highlighting that US-Mexican bilateral trade has grown by over 500 percent over the last 20 years.

Mora noted that Mexico would like to continue forging ties with the US so that the two countries can collectively address global economic difficulties and transnational crime. Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas further argued that though the US tends to turn to Brazil first in economic and trade partnership matters, US policymakers need to begin to consider Mexico as a critical partner.

Ambassador Lino Gutierrez, former US ambassador to Argentina, illustrated that US-Mexico relations have been rocky for many years, and pointed to further clouds on the horizon such as Mexico being affected by America’s economic downturn and domestic battles with cartels. James R. Jones, former US ambassador to Mexico, concluded that regional trade pacts will help encourage US companies to invest in Mexico, although progress in addressing the security situation must still be made.
–Alex Della Rocchetta

Event Description

The United States and Mexico enjoy vital economic, commercial, and security ties. However, Mexico’s leaders are looking beyond their country’s northern neighbor as their people ponder the high price of fighting the illicit drug trade that services the insatiable US demand for illegal drugs. How can Mexico’s leaders maintain their essential relationship with the US while dealing with the challenge of violent narcotrafficking, strengthening fragile institutions, modernizing the economic rules of the game, and overcoming structural poverty?

At this event, Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, will give a keynote speech that addresses the complexities of the US-Mexico relationship and  the pace and direction of reforms that his government is pursuing. A panel discussion on Western Hemisphere-related issues will follow.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


9:15 AM

9:30 AM
Keynote Address:
Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexican Ambassador to the United States

10:30 AM
Eric Farnsworth, Council of the Americas
Ambassador Lino Gutierrez, Former United States Ambassador to Argentina
Ambassador James R. Jones, Former United States Ambassador to Mexico

Roger F. Noriega, AEI

11:30 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Alex Della Rocchetta at [email protected], 202.862.7152.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Eric Farnsworth is vice president of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society and has headed the Washington, DC, office since 2003. The organization is the leading voice on the Western Hemisphere, where the public and private sectors meet to discuss and promote an agenda based on democratic governance, on open markets, and on the rule of law. He is a recognized expert on hemispheric affairs and US foreign and trade policy, having given congressional testimonies numerous times. He is a frequent commentator in print, visual, and new media; has authored or coauthored articles in American Interest, Americas Quarterly, Current History, the Journal of Democracy, and Latin American Policy; and is a columnist for PODER magazine and a blogger for the Huffington Post, National Journal, and Americas Quarterly Online. His opinion pieces have appeared in Barron’s, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Miami Herald, Folha de Sao Paulo, and numerous other outlets.

Lino Gutierrez worked for six US presidents and 13 secretaries of state. He retired from the US Department of State in November 2006.  His last posting was as the US ambassador to Argentina from 2003 to 2006. During his tenure, the United States and Argentina signed agreements on counterterrorism and counter-narcotics cooperation as well as on container security.  Gutierrez welcomed former president George W. Bush to Argentina to attend the Summit of the Americas. He also served as acting assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs for the principal deputy assistant secretary from 1999 to 2002. Gutierrez led the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs on September 11, 2001, and beyond.  He previously taught social studies for the Dade County, Florida, public school system and for the Urban League.

James R. Jones served as the US ambassador to Mexico from 1993 to 1997. He had been chairman and CEO of the American Stock Exchange since 1989. He is also the CEO of ManattJones Global Strategies LLC in Washington, DC. He began his career in 1961 as a legislative assistant to former representative Ed Edmondson (D-OK). Jones was a deputy special assistant and appointments secretary to former president Lyndon B. Johnson (1965–69). He practiced law and worked as a business development consultant in Tulsa (1969–73). Jones was also a US representative from Oklahoma (1973–87), chairman of the House Budget Committee (1981–85), chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security (1985–87), and chairman of the US-Japan trade task force (1977–80). Jones also served as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee (1975–87) and as deputy majority whip (1975–77).

Eduardo Medina Mora is the Mexican ambassador to the United States. Before coming to Washington, DC, Medina Mora was ambassador of Mexico to the United Kingdom (2009–12). Before that, he held cabinet-level positions in the Mexican federal government:  attorney general (2006–09), secretary for public security (2005–06), and director general of the Center for Investigation and National Security. In these capacities, he served as a member of the Public Security Cabinet and of the National Security Council. In his posts, he has been a negotiator for the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America; chief negotiator for the Mexico-US Border Partnership Agreement in 2002; member of the High-Level Group on Border Security Mexico-Guatemala and Mexico-Belize; and a key member of many delegations and bilateral task forces on security cooperation between Mexico and the US, Canada, Colombia, and Guatemala. In the private sector, he was corporate director of strategic planning and deputy director general of the DESC Group (1991–2000), a large Mexican conglomerate in the fields of automotive parts, petrochemicals, agribusiness, and real estate. He also coordinated the legal advisory team to the Mexican government during the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Roger F. Noriega
is a visiting fellow at AEI and the founder and managing director of Visión Américas LLC, which advises US and foreign clients on international business issues. He served as the assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs (Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean) from July 2003 to October 2005 and as the US ambassador to the Organization of American States from August 2001 to July 2003. Noriega is currently vice chairman of the board of directors of the Congressional Award Foundation and a member of the advisory boards of the Canadian American Border Trade Partnership and the Americano, an online forum for Latino voters.

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