TRIP REPORT: McCaul Co-Leads Congressional Delegation to 54th U.S. – Mexico Interparliamentary GroupBlog
Washington D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group (IPG), and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Chair of the IPG, led a bipartisan congressional delegation to San Diego, California to meet with Mexican lawmakers for the 54th U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary Group.
In a speech at the Cabrillo National Monument, Co-chair McCaul reaffirmed the enduring friendship and alliance between the United States and Mexico and applauded the civil and productive discussions held during the various IPG working sessions.
“We share a border that does not divide us, but unites us, and as we come together for the 54th annual IPG… we know that we are friends, that we are allies, that we need to help each other out. Whether it be trade or security. Neighbors help out neighbors.”
“We are very proud of the heritage Mexico has provided to this continent and I am very proud to stand here today to say that we are friend with Mexico. We want to work with you in the future.”
Members met with their Mexican congressional counterparts regarding critical issues facing our two nations, including the importance of ratifying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), enhancing security cooperation, and improving economic opportunities on both sides of the border. At such a critical time in U.S.-Mexico relations, the trip reaffirmed the need for continued cooperation between our Congresses to address shared concerns and strengthen our bilateral ties.
The Interparliamentary Group meeting has been held regularly since 1961. Lead Republican McCaul has co-led the U.S. delegation to the IPG since 2013.
The IPG Members convened four intensive policy sessions to discuss: the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), Bilateral Collaboration on Migration, the U.S. – Mexico Security Partnership, and Investing in a Secure and Prosperous Central America.
Lead Republican McCaul co-led the panel on the U.S. – Mexico Security Partnership. At the panel, McCaul facilitated discussion on evolving security threats that impact both of our nations, especially the rise in fentanyl and opioids coming from China and through Mexico to the United States. The U.S. and Mexican delegations agreed on the need to collaborate on an effective and comprehensive counter-narcotics strategy. As part of this effort, Lead Republican McCaul spoke to how his bipartisan legislation, the SAFE from Illicit Opioids Act, would develop an international diplomatic and assistance strategy to stop the flow of illicit drugs into the United States and protect funding for international anti-opioid efforts. On November 5th, 2019 nine American women and children were murdered by suspected Mexican drug cartels while traveling through northern Mexico. This horrific incident underscores the need for the U.S. and Mexico to work together to meaningfully improve security cooperation.
Lead Republican McCaul also co-led the panel on Investing in a Secure and Prosperous Central America, where members discussed the conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras contributing to the surge in migration that is overwhelming resources at the U.S. – Mexico border. Both the U.S. and Mexico delegations recognized the value in providing assistance to Central America to improve stability in the region and address the drivers of migration. Lead Republican McCaul discussed his bipartisan legislation, the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, that authorizes $577 million in U.S. assistance for the region and requires the State Department to develop a measurable strategy to address the drivers of migration. This legislation is awaiting passage in the Senate.
Lead Republican McCaul and Chair Cuellar were interviewed by KXAN on their bipartisan work to advance the USMCA, which will improve commerce between the U.S. and Mexico and create 175,000 American jobs. In the interview, both Congressmen reiterated the importance of passing this legislation as quickly as possible.
“Mexico is our largest trading partner, and it’s the largest trading partner for the United States now. I think people are tired of this division. They want us to be responsible mature adults in the room, working across the aisle to get good things done for the American people.”
Before departing San Diego, Co-chair McCaul and Chair Cuellar exchanged gifts with Representative Delgado, Chairman of Mexico’s delegation to the IPG.
The United States 2019 Congressional Delegation included: Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-FL), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA).
The Mexico Congressional Delegation included: Mario Martín Delgado Carrillo (13th District), Teresita de Jesús Vargas Meraz, (2nd District), Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, (4th Electoral Region), Juan Carlos Romero Hicks (4th District), Xavier Azuara Zúñiga (2nd Electoral Region), María Lucero Saldaña Pérez (4th Electoral Region), Héctor Yunes Landa (3rd Electoral Region), María del Pilar Lozano MacDonald (2nd Electoral Region), Óscar González Yáñez (27th District), Alfredo Femat Bañuelos (3rd District), Nayeli Arlen Fernández Cruz (4th Electoral Region), Verónica Beatriz Juárez Piña (1st Electoral Region), Iván Pérez Negrón (10th District).