POSTED: Friday, January 16, 2009 - 10:32am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am
It's a tradition dating back to 1980, the incoming United States leader meets the Mexican President before taking office.With President-Elect Barack Obama's Inauguration only a week away, He spent today meeting with Mexican Leader, Felipe Calderon.It was a historic first for the two leaders from neighboring countries to discuss issues which hit home to us here in the Valley.News Center 23's Kenny Lopez has more from the US/Mexico border.
From trade agreements to security concerns, even immigration.
These are all issues which affect us here, right along the border.
Today, both leaders met to work on building a stronger relationship.
Obama says a stronger relationship with Mexico is key.Calderon agrees, by saying a more secure Mexico will make for a more secure United States.Security being the primary concern for Mexico, where Drug-fueled violence reached record levels last year.Close to 6-thousand killings, doubling the violent deaths reported in 2007.Tougher border security, organized crime, drug trafficking, and gun smuggling are top concerns.
Also during their meeting, Obama shared concerns on traded issues and The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA.Obama wants to re-negotiate this pact.On the other hand, Calderon does not feel a re-negotiation will be beneficial.Mexico is the third largest U-S trading partner.Exchanging about 347-billion dollars in goods last year, alone.News Center 23 caught up with local leader, Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos to see what he thinks about Calderon and Obama discussing issues affecting both countries.Cascos says, " Mexico is our big trading country. We need to make sure the lines of communication between Obama and Calderon are open, honest, and fruitful."Calderon will meet with President Bush tomorrow.