The United States reneged on a pledge to invest US $2 billion in southeastern Mexico in what was to be a joint effort to reduce northward migration, President López Obrador said Friday.
The agreement was part of the Comprehensive Development Plan for Central America and Mexico which was designed to decrease illegal migration from that region to the United States by creating new economic opportunities through investment in infrastructure.
“The U.S. government did not come through on the offer that they were going to allocate investment to the south and southeast,” López Obrador told his morning press briefing.
But his relationship with President Donald Trump remains good regardless, he said. “We haven’t had to endure a single act of “high-handedness” by the U.S. government, “nor will we allow it.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced last year that an agreement had been reached with the Donald Trump administration that the United States would invest in Central America and southern Mexico.
Backed by the United Nations and the European Union, the plan was designed to curb immigration to the United States by improving the economies of impoverished Central American countries and the poorer states of Mexico, said Ebrard.
Some of the funds promised by the U.S. have been delivered. Ebrard reported that the United States government began to transfer resources to Mexico last September in accordance with the agreement, including $126 million for micro-financing funds destined for small and medium-sized businesses, and two letters of intent were signed for infrastructure projects totaling $800 million in southern Mexico. Three other projects that are currently being negotiated are worth another $330 million.
Improving conditions in impoverished regions of the country remains a goal of the current administration, and Mexico continues working to stem emigration and stimulate the economy by funding large infrastructure projects. One major undertaking is in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a project designed to help develop the region by providing social and economic opportunities for residents.
The president is hopeful that new jobs created along the corridor will boost the economy in both Veracruz and Oaxaca and thus deter citizens from migrating to the United States.