Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena on the future of U.S.-Mexico relations with Mr. Emilio Cadena of Grupo Prodensa

On April 22, 2020, Meridian in partnership with the U.S.-Mexican Foundation brought Her Excellency Martha Barcena along with Mr. Emilio Cadena, President and CEO of Grupo Prodensa and Chairman of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation, for a discussion on the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship in the era of COVID-19, with a focus on USMCA implementation, migration and response to the global health crisis. Meridian Trustee and former Ambassador to Denmark, Hon. Laurie S. Fulton moderated the discussion.

Ambassador Barcena presented her credentials to President Trump in January of 2019 and made note of the importance of USMCA as part of regional cooperation and partnership. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement was ratified by Canada as the final country this past March, which meant the implementation should have begun on June 1st, but has been pushed back till July 1st.

Coronavirus has impacted the U.S.-Mexico relationship in more than just the implementation of USMCA, but in terms of migrants and migration as well. Both Ambassador Barcena and Mr. Cadena highlighted the important task of protecting migrant communities due to the higher rate of immigrants in essential sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. The intersection of business between the United States and Mexico has also caused unforeseen challenges for international trade particularly in the auto and aerospace industries, which has caused a ripple effect in the global supply chain. Nonetheless, both countries have worked hard to cooperate and align their interests to protect workers and the economy.

While COVID-19 has undoubtedly posed challenges that will require policy adjustments for years to come, there should be reason for optimism about its effects on the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Both Ambassador Barcena and Mr. Cadena have optimistic feelings for the future of the US-Mexico relationship despite the unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19.

Project summary

Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena on the future of U.S.-Mexico relations with Mr. Emilio Cadena of Grupo Prodensa | April 2020
Number of Attendees: 105
Regions: Western Hemisphere
Countries: Mexico
Impact Areas: Business and Trade
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Private Sector