Janet Yellen and Rogelio Ramírez de la O
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has held high-level meetings with her Mexican counterpart Rogelio Ramirez de la O during her three-day visit to Mexico City. AFP

MEXICO CITY - The United States and Mexico plan to form a working group on foreign investment screening, aimed at guarding against national security threats, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday.

Yellen and Mexico's Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O reached the agreement at the end of her three-day visit to Mexico City, during which she also sought to further the fight against fentanyl and deepen economic ties between the North American neighbors.

"Both countries benefit when they work together to guard against foreign investments that pose national security risks," Yellen said in a statement.

The pact does not mention specific countries or investments of interest. But the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a government agency that assesses foreign investments' risks to US national security, has recently been scrutinizing TikTok, owned by Chinese group ByteDance.

This month, Washington also proposed new rules surrounding its electric vehicle subsidies, limiting material that producers can source from Chinese firms and others, as officials spelled out how companies could be considered a foreign entity of concern.

"This working group recognizes the fact that US national security is linked to the security of our allies and partners, including our neighbors in North America," said Paul Rosen, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for investment security.

He also noted the benefits of a "common" understanding of national security risks when it comes to foreign investment.

The working group is expected to have "regular exchanges of information about how investment screening can best protect national security," Treasury added.

The US-Mexico deal recognizes the role of effective investment review mechanisms, especially involving technologies, critical infrastructure and sensitive data, Treasury said.

CFIUS works with governments around the world in its stated goal of helping to strengthen their tools for screening foreign investment.

But the Treasury added that both countries continue to promote an open investment climate in the region.