The United States and Mexico will cooperate in semiconductors and electric vehicles

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico and the United States plan to take advantage of the Biden administration’s massive investment in semiconductor production to boost the integration of their supply chains and cooperate in expanding electric vehicle production across the industry. nationalized lithium in Mexico, officials from both countries said Monday

Both efforts seek to capitalize on Asia’s advantage in the semiconductors and batteries needed for electric vehicles and promote production in North America.

These were some of the main issues discussed within and outside the High Level Economic Dialogue between the two countries in the Mexican capital.

“Major elements of semiconductor supply chains are already well established in Mexico, with US-based companies such as Intel and Skyworks conducting research and development, design, assembly, and test manufacturing in parts of Mexico” US Secretary Antony Blinken said.

Blinken and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimundo spoke earlier in the day with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about opportunities for Mexico to take advantage of recently passed US legislation that would provide $28 billion in incentives for semiconductor production, $10 billion for new chip manufacturing, and $11 billion for research and development.

López Obrador, for his part, explained his plan to turn the northern border state of Sonora into a leader in the production of lithium, electric vehicles and solar energy, said Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. Lithium is a key component of batteries for electric vehicles. The president said last month that he had already discussed the idea with US President Joe Biden.

Blinken said another part of the new US legislation is intended to incentivize the switch to electric vehicles and the production of the batteries they need in North America.

Ebrard said it was a great opening for Mexico’s economy.

“This means more jobs for Mexico, more integration,” said Ebrard. “We believe that Mexico could grow twice as much with what was proposed to Mexico today and this means that we can reduce poverty even faster in our country and that Mexico’s infrastructure can grow faster.”

The dialogue, which was launched by then-Vice President Biden in 2013, resumed last year in Washington after being halted during the Trump administration.

The global shortage of semiconductors has cut production of cars, appliances and other goods, leading to high inflation. Biden appeared at the future site of a huge Intel plant in Ohio on Friday.

Last month, López Obrador said the government had created the state-owned lithium company that would be in charge of exploring and extracting the mineral. Mexico nationalized lithium production in May.

When asked about ongoing trade disputes between the US and Mexico in the energy sector, officials from both countries downplayed the disputes, emphasizing that there was a separate process for resolving those disagreements under their trade agreement and that there was no was an agenda item for these meetings.

Prior to the talks, Under Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols, who is also in attendance, said one of the talks’ priorities was to promote development in southern Mexico and Central America.

U.S. border agent encounters with migrants from the Northern Triangle countries (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala) have been lower this year than last year, even though overall encounters at the border increased this year. year, according to data from the US Customs and Border Protection. Encounters with Mexican migrants have also been higher for most of the past year.

More recently, Mexico has avoided direct confrontations with migrants moving through its territory, instead regularly offering them temporary documents to ease pressure on its southern border.

López Obrador has been criticized by some international and national organizations for transferring the newly created National Guard to the Ministry of Defense. In many ways, the military already ran the force, rounding out its ranks, but it had been created as a civilian force. López Obrador criticized the UN and the Organization of American States for expressing concern about the measure.

Mexico continues to struggle with high rates of violence. On Friday, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons said that violence related to Mexico’s drug cartels was the main force behind internal displacement. He called on the government to create an official register of displaced people, but said data collected from non-governmental organizations suggests there are about 400,000.

The talks come just days before Mexico celebrates its independence day, to which López Obrador has invited figures such as the daughter of revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the father of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

At López Obrador’s daily news conference on Monday, the president said he planned to present a proposal to the UN to end Russia’s war in Ukraine. López Obrador, who did not join other countries in imposing economic sanctions on Russia, proposed creating a mediation commission made up of Pope Francis, the UN Secretary General and the Indian Prime Minister that would open talks between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine.

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