The United States and Mexico to form working group on foreign investment screening
In Mexico City, Mexico, officials announced that the United States and Mexico plan to form a working group on foreign investment screening. The aim of this group is to guard against national security threats, with the realignment of supply chains in mind.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made the announcement after a bilateral meeting with Mexico’s Secretary of Finance and Public Credit, Rogelio Ramirez de la O. The two countries reached this agreement as Yellen concludes a three-day visit to Mexico City. Alongside the work on foreign investment screening, the fight against fentanyl trafficking and deepening economic ties were also discussed.
Yellen explained that the working group will exchange technical knowledge and best practices regarding foreign investment screening, which will help maintain an open investment climate while ensuring security risks are monitored and addressed.
While the agreement does not mention any specific countries, the move is raising concerns regarding China’s attempts to circumvent US trade restrictions. When asked about Chinese investment in Mexico, Yellen emphasized the need for appropriate national security screens, adding that investments should not raise national security concerns for Mexico or the United States.
The news of the working group is part of a broader effort to secure supply chains in North America. The goal is to ensure the safety and reliability of supply chains spanning across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This comes after the US proposed new rules surrounding electric vehicle subsidies, focusing on material sourcing and foreign entities of concern.
On a different note, discussions were also held between the US and Mexican teams regarding cross-border payments, with Yellen indicating a possibility of more deeply integrating both sides’ payment systems. This is expected to facilitate digital payments and lower remittance costs.
This move comes as trade relations between the United States and Mexico continue to thrive, with over $850 billion in trade recorded in 2022. Mexico has also become America’s largest goods trading partner this year.