Radio Address to the
Nation on the President's Trip to Mexico
February 13, 1988
I am meeting with Mexican President De la Madrid in Mazatlan, Mexico, so I've prerecorded
this radio talk. Over these last 7 years, maintaining a constructive and
friendly relationship with our neighbors to the south has been one of the
highest priorities of our administration. As we review what has transpired,
there is every reason to be pleased.
leaders of our two nations are aware that good relations and cooperation
between us are invaluable to both our peoples. And that's why the meetings
between our top leadership have been frequent and our talks at those meetings
comprehensive. My meeting today with President De la Madrid will cover a number of
issues -- from economic concerns, to our mutual commitment to fight drug
traffickers, to the security challenges facing the hemisphere.
Mexico is our fourth largest
trading partner and we, correspondingly, are Mexico's largest trading
partner. Our commercial ties are strong and of great benefit to people on both
sides of the border. We've worked hard to make it that way. Last November we
signed a new framework understanding that underscored our special trade and
investment relationship. During our meetings in Mazatlan, President De la Madrid and I will reaffirm our
commitment to take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen the commercial
ties between our peoples.
thing that cannot be overemphasized is that a healthy and expanding Mexican
economy is in the interest of the United States. We want Mexico to grow and prosper.
And that's why we've done our best and will continue to do our best to help
find solutions to the vexing problems of Mexico's international debt.
Innovative, market-based methods of managing this burden are being explored,
such as Mexico's offer to exchange
debt for long-term bonds.
the same time, we've been working with our Mexican counterparts on such things
as a new textile accord, a telecommunications agreement -- which will be signed
in Mazatlan today -- and a new
civil aviation agreement, which is in the final stages of negotiations. I hope
that one day all of this will be seen as the initial steps leading toward an
historic freeing of commerce and trade throughout the continent.
just now beginning to tap the unmeasurable potential
between Mexico and the United States. This can certainly be
seen in the Immigration Reform and Control Act, passed by Congress in 1986.
This law offers protections for more than a million undocumented immigrants
living in the United States, many of whom are from Mexico. It provides a means
for them to find legal employment in our country and to participate openly and
freely in our society. Population movement and employment are subjects being
examined closely by joint U.S. and Mexican
commissions. A study of the issues and frank dialog between us is essential,
and I am gratified by the responsible long-term approach the Mexican Government
is taking in this sensitive area.
We have found that there are honest and concerned
officials on both sides of the border who are dedicated to the same ideals.
Nowhere is that more clear than in the battle against drug traffickers.
American and Mexican policemen and law enforcement officials have lost their
lives in this fight. We've been allies with brave individuals, men and women of
integrity who are putting their lives on the line against this evil and the
corruption and bloodshed that follows in its trail.
I might add that each and every one of us can make a
contribution to winning this war against drugs. First, by refusing to use
illegal drugs ourselves and, second, by helping others
to get off drugs -- and the traffickers would go out of business if people quit
buying illegal drugs. That's the real solution, and it's up to each and every
one of us to be a part of the solution.
Finally, my talks with President De la Madrid will also cover the security threat to this
hemisphere. Since 1980 we've witnessed an impressive expansion of democracy
throughout the Americas. However, this progress cannot be taken for granted.
The establishment of totalitarian regimes, supported by Cuba and the Soviet Union, is a
threat to stability and freedom. Nowhere is that threat more acute than in Central America. I would hope that the United States and Mexico will find common interest in opposing any such
The peoples and Governments of United States and Mexico are and ought to be friends. Our national interests
dictate it; our peoples demand it. It is in this spirit that I meet today with
President De la Madrid. I will pass on to the people of Mexico your very best wishes.
Until next week, thanks for listening and God bless
President's address was recorded at on February
11 in the Oval Office at the White House. It was broadcast at on February 13.