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Secretary Janet Napolitano Signs Agreements with SHCP Meade and SeGob Poiré

Secretary Janet Napolitano Signs Agreements with SHCP Meade and SeGob Poiré

Mexico City, February 27, 2012 -- Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano in Mexico City today called on Finance Secretary (SHCP) José Antonio Meade, and on  Secretary of Government (Segob) Alejandro Poiré.  Secretary Napolitano signed two agreements with Secretary Meade and one with Secretary Poire.  She was accompanied by Ambassador Wayne, DHS Assistant Secretary Bersin, ICE Director Morton and Acting CBP Commissioner Aguilar.

"The threats we face increasingly cross international boundaries, and strong international partnerships are critical to the region’s security," said Secretary Napolitano.  “We are committed to working with our Mexican partners to facilitate legitimate trade and travel while securing and managing our borders.”

“As our two governments continue to look for ways to deepen the cooperation that we need to make citizens of both our countries more secure and prosperous, I am deeply gratified by Secretary Napolitano’s visit here today to sign these agreements with Secretary Meade and Secretary Poire,” Ambassador Wayne said.  “I trust these agreements will help facilitate legitimate trade and travel as well as help us tackle the problem of trafficking in persons and other threats to our citizens.”

The Declaration of Principles (DOP) signed by Secretary Meade and Secretary Napolitano is a statement affirming the mutual goals and priority initiatives of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Mexico’s Finance Ministry (SHCP) related to the facilitation of legitimate trade, enforcement of customs laws, targeting and risk management, and strengthening of global supply chain security.  It also outlines the leadership for overseeing the implementation of those initiatives. 

The Interconnection Security Agreement (ISA) is an agreement that supports interconnectivity and information exchange by prescribing a technical framework and standards.  The ISA will facilitate information sharing initiatives between DHS and SHCP, and ensure that future connectivity agreements do not have to be negotiated individually for each program.

The two secretaries also issued a Joint Statement on Global Supply Chain Security that articulates our joint commitment to bilaterally advancing global supply chain security initiatives, including for example, each country’s trusted shipper programs: the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Mexico’s Nuevo Esquema de Empresas Certificados (NEEC).

Secretary Meade said, “With these documents we will continue, first, to reinforce our automated mechanisms for exchanging customs information and for managing risk in the flows of commercial cargo and passengers, harmonizing the information and procedures for processing commercial cargo through customs, including trainings, and finally developing investigations and effecting coordinated operations to combat contraband and commercial fraud.”

Secretary Napolitano and Government Secretary (Segob) Alejandro Poiré discussed bilateral and regional cooperation to combat trafficking in persons, strengthening our vigilance against terrorists and other security threats, and how Global Entry in the United States and Mexico will help strengthen security and facilitate travel between the two countries.  They also announced a humanitarian repatriation pilot program to degrade the cycle of smuggling that endangers the lives of those seeking to enter the United States illegally.  Through this pilot program, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will return Mexican nationals via air to Mexico, where our Mexican partners will return them to their place of origin – their hometowns or communities – rather than simply having them returned over the land border.  This collaborative effort will help sever the link between criminal organizations and those they prey upon and will save lives.

Secretary Poiré said, “Bilateral relations between Mexico and the United States have reached a high level of cooperation, of work, and of mutual understanding.  The collaboration that both our institution are consolidating reflects the desire to continue working together on the problems that both our countries face, as in the case of security.”