February 15, 1999


The agreements we signed today cap a remarkable decade of close partnership... President Zedillo and I have invested a great deal in this partnership, and we will keep doing so. We intend to lay the groundwork for the next generation of leaders - who will build the legacy we have worked so hard to create. The way we approach our problems will define how we live our lives for decades to come.

President Bill Clinton
February 15, 1999

President Clinton will meet with Mexican President Zedillo to continue advancing our strong bilateral relationship and forge a number of new cooperative agreements to increase trade and investment, strengthen our counter-drug control efforts, protect our environment, and support relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters.

Continuing A Strong Economic Partnership. Mexico is one of America's most important trade partners, second only to Canada as a foreign market for U.S. exports. Our strong trade relations have helped insulate Mexico and the United States against economic turbulence abroad. Five years after NAFTA and four years after President Clinton led international efforts to stabilize the economy of Mexico, our bilateral trade is still expanding and our economies are growing. Indeed, Mexico alone has accounted for nearly 20% of total U.S. merchandise export growth over the past five years.

Supporting Democratic Transformation. Our economic partnership has also aided Mexico's impressive progress in strengthening its democracy. President Zedillo has launched far-reaching democratic reforms, and next year's Presidential election promises to be the most competitive in Mexico's history. The Mexican government has also made tough decisions to expose and root out corruption, strengthen its law enforcement institutions, and work effectively with U.S. law enforcement authorities to fight problems that threaten both nations.

Cooperation in Meeting Common Challenges. The United States and Mexico have joined together in tackling problems both our nations face:

February 1999

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