"The United States and Mexico have a special relationship under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which removes trade and investment barriers between the countries. The friendly relationship has been strengthened by President Bush's meetings with President Fox in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Major issues of concern to Congress are trade, immigration, drug trafficking, and political rights. [...] On March 22, 2002, President Bush traveled to Monterrey, Mexico, where he attended the International Conference on Financing for Development, participated in a NAFTA trilateral meeting, and discussed Mexico-U.S. issues with President Fox. In the international conference he reiterated the recent pledge to increase U.S. core development assistance by 50% in three years, adding $5 billion to a Millennium Challenge Account to fund initiatives in developing countries that pursue good governance and sound economic policies. In the trilateral meeting, the leaders reaffirmed the importance of NAFTA. In the bilateral meeting, Presidents Bush and Fox announced a number of initiatives, including (1) a U.S.-Mexico Border Partnership Action Plan with greater cooperation and technological enhancements at the border, (2) a "Partnership for Prosperity" Action Plan with public-private initiatives to promote domestic and foreign investment in less developed areas of Mexico with high migration rates, (3) agreement to seek legislative support to expand the mandate of the North American Development Bank (NADBank) and the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC) to finance environmental infrastructure along the border, and (4) agreement to continue the cabinet-level talks to achieve safe, legal, and orderly migration flows between the countries. On April 9, 2002, the Mexican Senate denied President Fox permission to travel to the United States and Canada for business-related meetings, apparently because of concerns that President Fox is traveling excessively and that concrete results have been lacking. On April 19, 2002, Mexico, for the first time, voted to censure Cuba in the United Nations' Human Rights Commission, and on April 22, 2002, Cuban President Castro strongly criticized President Fox, claiming that he had been pressured to leave the international conference in Monterrey early."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10070