Remarks on the Departure of President Jose Lopez Portillo of Mexico

June 9, 1981

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, thank you very much for being here.

I just want to express my appreciation for President Lopez Portillo's changing his schedule and coming to Washington to accommodate us. The talks that we've had were frank, they were valuable, and they lead to a closer relationship between our two countries. In addition to that, I'm very proud, personally, to say that we have a warm and a close personal relationship between the two of us.

Our frank discussion revealed basic agreement on the need to strengthen the economies of the less developed nations, to bring about social and economic development of their peoples. We agreed that this was the best way to assure the region's future stability, and we'll be exchanging ideas on how best to bring about such development.

We agreed that the special nature of our relations required a special framework for doing business. We decided to form a bilateral Foreign Secretaries commission to assure integrated handling of matters of common concern. It will be cochaired by Secretary Haig and Secretary Castaneda. They will submit a report by December 31st, 1981.

Because trade problems are essentially and especially urgent, we also decided to set up immediately a Cabinet-level trade committee to recommend how to go about dealing with outstanding bilateral trade questions. The committee will be cochaired by the Mexican and United States Secretaries of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative. The committee will begin work as soon as possible. We also agreed to address outstanding fisheries problems on a similar urgent basis.

An important agreement providing for supply of substantial quantities of United States grain to Mexico during 1982 was signed by Secretary Block for the United States and Secretary de la Vega for Mexico. Attorney General Smith briefed the Mexican party in detail on the various options we're now considering to deal with the undocumented migrant problem. And I assured the President that the United States would take Mexico's interest in this problem fully into consideration, as well as the interests and rights of the individual migrants themselves.

I had the great pleasure of informing the President that the legislature has acted, the Congress has acted, and we are going forward with construction of the Otay Mesa additional border crossing to relieve the logjam that we have at the San Ysidro crossing there. It is badly needed on the California Baja border. And we agreed that it would be an important boost to tourism in both directions.

President Lopez Portillo formally invited me to participate in a meeting of heads of government, an international meeting to be held in Cancun, Mexico, in October, and I happily accepted that invitation. I look forward to the informal discussion of North-South questions which will occur at that meeting, as well as additional meetings that we have spoken of.

And now comes the -- I shall present President Lopez Portillo for his farewell, but it is a sad moment now. We have had a fine, warm, friendly, and productive meeting.

Note: President Reagan spoke at 2:43 p.m. to reporters assembled at the North Portico of the White House.