US invites Mexico to join semiconductor production effort


A high-level U.S. delegation on Monday invited Mexico to join a campaign to move semiconductor production from Asia to North America and expand production of electric vehicles.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had spoken with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about recently passed legislation that would provide $28 billion in incentives for semiconductor production, $10 billion for new chip manufacturing, and $11 billion for research and development.

López Obrador, for his part, explained his intention to make the northern border state of Sonora a leader in the production of lithium, electric vehicles and solar energy, Ebrard said. Lithium is a key component of batteries for electric vehicles. The president said last month that he had already discussed the idea with President Biden.

The US delegation was in Mexico for a new round of the so-called high-level economic dialogue. The US side was represented by Blinken, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Deputy US Trade Representative Jayme White and Juan González, the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere.

The dialogue, launched by then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2013, resumed last year in Washington after stalling under the Trump administration.

The global shortage of semiconductors has spilled over into the production of automobiles, household appliances and other goods, fueling high inflation. Biden appeared at the future site of a massive Intel factory in Ohio on Friday.

Last month, López Obrador said the government had created the state-owned lithium company which would be in charge of exploring for and extracting the ore. Mexico nationalized lithium production in May.

Asked about the ongoing trade disputes between the United States and Mexico in the energy sector, Ebrard said that there was a separate process to resolve these disagreements and that it was not a point in order. of the day of these meetings.

Ahead of the talks, Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols, who was also present, said one of the talks’ priorities was to promote development in southern Mexico and Central America.

U.S. border agents’ encounters with migrants from Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — have declined this year compared to last year, despite an overall increase in border encounters this year, the data shows. US Customs and Border Protection. Encounters with Mexican migrants have been higher for most of the past year.

More recently, Mexico has avoided direct confrontations with migrants moving through its territory, instead regularly offering them temporary documents to relieve pressure on its southern border.

López Obrador has recently been criticized by some international and national organizations for transferring the newly created National Guard to the Ministry of Defense. In many ways, the military was already leading the force—and filling its ranks—but it had been created as a civilian force. López Obrador criticized the UN and the Organization of American States on Monday for expressing concern over the decision.

Mexico continues to struggle with high rates of violence. On Friday, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced people said after a visit to Mexico that violence linked to Mexican drug cartels was the main cause of internal displacement. She called on the government to create an official register of displaced people, but said data collected from non-governmental organizations suggested there were around 400,000.

The talks come days before Mexico is due to celebrate its Independence Day, to which López Obrador has invited figures such as revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s daughter and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s father.

During López Obrador’s daily press conference on Monday, the president said he planned to submit a proposal to the UN aimed at ending Russia’s war in Ukraine. López Obrador, who has not joined other countries in imposing economic sanctions on Russia, has proposed creating a mediation commission made up of Pope Francis, the UN secretary general and the Indian prime minister that would open talks between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine.

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