John Kerry Visits Mexico: US Secretary Of State To Talk Education, Other Issues In Latest Obama Administration Trip

Kerry and Mexican foreign minister Jose Antonio Meade.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Mexico's Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade shake hands as they pose for photographs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City May 21, 2014. REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster

Reforma reports that Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Mexico City on Wednesday morning for meetings said to center on education and innovation in addition to issues including immigration and security. Animal Politico writes that he’ll be received by his counterpart, José Antonio Meade, as well as Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and an array of business and civil-society groups. The trip is his first to Mexico since he took over the position from Hillary Clinton in February of last year, but it also marks the latest example of the unprecedented attention paid to Mexico by the Obama administration and other US officials.

“The United States is convinced that Mexico is one of its most important partners and of the degree to which its neighboring country is increasingly better equipped to cooperate on challenges we face as a region regarding competition vis-à-vis other regions,” said Mexican foreign relations sub-secretary Sergio Alcocer during a press conference on Wednesday. 

President Barack Obama has made personal trips to Mexico five times since he entered office in 2008, more than any other country, and since the beginning of Enrique Peña Nieto’s presidency in 2012, officials from both countries have devoted less time to questions of security and drug trafficking and more on how to cultivate trade links. The Daily Beast notes that about six million American jobs depend on trade with Mexico, which at over $535 billion in 2012 has nearly doubled over Obama’s term in office, and regional authorities -- including Arizona governor and anti-illegal immigration zealot Jan Brewer -- are increasingly seeking ways to boost exports south of the border.

What do you think?

David Iaconangelo is a Brooklyn-based writer and translator.  Formerly editor of ZafraLit, a blog of new short fiction from Cuba.  He has lived in and reported from various Latin American countries.