U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexican Minister of Finance and Public Credit Agustín Carstens today signed a Letter of Intent that will strengthen bilateral cooperation between the United States and Mexico. The agreement aims to increase security in both countries and facilitate the flow of legal travel and trade.
"This agreement strengthens the partnership between the United States and Mexico to bolster our shared security," said Secretary Napolitano. "Through coordinated enforcement and improved communication, we can work together to combat violence along the border while supporting tourism and trade."
"This is another important step for the longstanding relationship and collaboration between our customs agencies," said Secretary Carstens. "The more we work together, the better the service and security we provide to our peoples and economies."
The agreement builds upon an unprecedented level of collaboration between the two nations and provides a roadmap for critical bi-national initiatives between the U.S. and Mexico. Specifically, the agreement seeks to strengthen border enforcement by creating a framework for establishing bi-national Port Security Management Committees, developing a joint implementation plan for cooperative capacity building, and increasing trade facilitation between the two nations through increased information sharing and a harmonized customs clearance process.
The Letter of Intent expresses a mutual desire between DHS and the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit to continue and expand their relationship through the Declaration of Principles and Bilateral Strategic Plan. In June 2007, DHS and the Ministry signed a Declaration of Principles to strengthen bilateral cooperation, and promote further engagement, including a Bilateral Strategic Plan between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Mexico Customs.