[Congressional Record: September 5, 2001 (House)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND
Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the
resolution (H. Res. 233) recognizing the important relationship between
the United States and Mexico.
The Clerk read as follows:
H. Res. 233
Whereas the United States and Mexico share a special
bilateral friendship which is matched by few other countries
in the world;
Whereas the United States and Mexico are partners joined by
geography as well as by a multitude of government-to-
government and private relationships which are of critical
importance to both countries;
Whereas the United States and Mexico share concerns on a
wide range of issues, including trade, immigration, the
environment, economic development, and regional security and
Whereas Vicente Fox Quesada of the Alliance for Change
(consisting of the National Action Party and the Mexican
Green Party) was sworn in as President of the United Mexican
States on December 1, 2000, the first opposition candidate to
be elected president in Mexico in seven decades;
Whereas the United States, as Mexico's neighbor, ally, and
partner in the hemisphere, has a strong interest in President
Fox's success in promoting prosperity and democracy in his
country and the region during his term of office; and
Whereas President Vicente Fox is making a state visit to
Washington, D.C. on September 5-7, 2001: Now, therefore, be
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) welcomes the state visit by the President of the United
Mexican States, Vicente Fox Quesada; and
(2) declares that, in keeping with the just interests of
the United States, the special nature of the relationship
between the United States and Mexico should be further
cultivated to the mutual benefit of both countries.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from
Illinois (Mr. Hyde) and the gentleman from American Samoa (Mr.
Faleomavaega) each will control 20 minutes.
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde).
Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include
extraneous material on the resolution under consideration.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the
gentleman from Illinois?
There was no objection.
Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Speaker, just over 1 year ago, on July 2, 2000, an
extraordinary event took place. In a single day the people of Mexico
peacefully ended 7 decades of one-party rule with their votes.
Tomorrow, the man they elected as their president, Vicente Fox, will
address a joint meeting of Congress as part of the first State visit
hosted by George W. Bush.
The inauguration of Vicente Fox as Mexico's president has ushered in
a new chapter in our Nation's relationship with our neighbor to the
south. President Bush and President Fox have seized the opportunity to
forge a new partnership. Both leaders have acted to leave the past and
build a road to the future based on real shared interests.
The cornerstone of our relationship with Mexico is the North America
Free Trade Agreement, initiated under the President's father's
Commerce between the United States and Mexico increased from $83
billion in 1994 to nearly $200 billion in 1999. Total trade among the
three NAFTA members, including Canada, reached $557 billion in 1999.
Mexico has surpassed Japan as the United States's second largest
trading partner. Even so, there is a belief abroad in our land that
NAFTA is the culprit for the present economic downturn. This is simply
The implementation of NAFTA, in fact, coincided with the longest
peacetime economic expansion in the history of our Nation.
The trafficking of elicit narcotics through Mexico has left a swath
of corruption and misery in its path. Securing Mexico's full
cooperation in addressing the drug threat has long bedeviled our
relations. President Fox has, however, demonstrated great courage in
facing this violent and corrosive threat to the security of both of our
nations. Under his leadership, Mexico has finally begun to extradite
Mexican drug kingpins to face justice in the United States for their
Under President Fox's leadership, real law enforcement cooperation
has begun at the working level where it counts, policeman to policeman.
Migration is at the top of our bilateral agenda with Mexico. The U.S.
Census of 2000 revealed that almost 12 percent of the U.S. population
is of Hispanic origin. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans constitute about
65 percent of that total. President Bush believes it is very important
that America be a Nation that welcomes immigrants. He recognizes the
huge contributions to our economy that immigrant workers, including
Mexicans, have made and the vital role America has in welcoming people
who will fulfill that role in our economy.
Accordingly, President Bush and President Fox have been working to
establish a series of principles regarding migration issues that will
be announced during President Fox's state visit.
Madam Speaker, the resolution before the House today recognizes the
extraordinarily important bilateral relationship between the United
States and Mexico, and welcomes the state visit by Mexico's
democratically elected leader, President Vicente Fox.
Madam Speaker, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Paul), introduced a
similar resolution earlier this year, and I am pleased he is among the
Members from both parties, including the ranking member of our
Committee on International Relations, the gentleman from California
(Mr. Lantos), who have cosponsored this resolution.
Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may
(Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA asked and was given permission to revise and extend
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Madam Speaker, I certainly commend the gentleman
from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), the chairman of the Committee on
International Relations, for his leadership and for his sponsorship of
this resolution, House Resolution 233, and I endorse the resolution,
and also recognize the support of the gentleman from California (Mr.
Lantos), the ranking Democratic member of the Committee on
I also acknowledge the support of the chairman of the Subcommittee on
the Western Hemisphere, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr.
and the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Menendez), the ranking member of
our Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
Madam Speaker, the resolution celebrates the unique bilateral
relationship that the United States shares with its other neighbor,
Mexico. It also acknowledges the pivotal role that Mexico plays in
addressing issues that are of concern to both the United States and
Mexico. And finally, the resolution welcomes President Fox to the
Since assuming office in December of last year, President Fox has
done much to build a new Mexico, a Mexico which tolerates diverse
political views, which is accountable to its citizenry; and it is
certainly a remarkable effort on the part of his leadership, and the
fact that after 70 years, for the first time, a new political leader
has come before the voters of Mexico and been elected, someone other
than the party that has been presiding over Mexico's politics for the
last 70 years.
Largely as a result of the efforts of President Fox's administration,
Mexico's government now embraces divergent viewpoints, its press corps
has become increasingly vigilant and vocal, and Mexican political
society has become more vibrant and quite robust.
Oftentimes in collaboration with the United States Government,
President Fox's administration has also recorded unprecedented
victories in the fight against drug cartels and smugglers of illegal
immigrants from other countries.
President Fox's administration continues to face significant
challenges, including tensions in Chiapas, a softening economy, and
entrenched corruption in some segments of the government, and
accounting for Mexico's past human rights violations.
Madam Speaker, I commend President Fox for his outstanding leadership
and real sense of commitment to address the social and economic
problems currently confronting some 29 million indigenous Indians now
living in Mexico. The indigenous Indians of Mexico have suffered
tremendous hardships economically and socially, mainly due to
negligence and indifference by previous administrations. President Fox
is the first among Mexico's top leaders to seriously address the needs
of indigenous Indians, especially the crisis that occurred in Chiapas
in the Yucatan Peninsula whereby the needs of indigenous Indians of
that region of Mexico have not been properly addressed by Mexican
How ironic that during the 1860s when Mexico fought a revolution
against French rule, the gentleman who led the revolution against
French rule and who later became Mexico's first president after the
revolution was an indigenous Indian by the name of Benito Juarez. Over
100 years later, the issues affecting the lives of the indigenous
Indians of Mexico have finally been brought to the attention of
President Fox. I sincerely commend President Fox for his sensitivity
and true sense of compassion in establishing national policy that will
allow indigenous Indians to seek opportunities not only for higher
education, but better health and better living conditions.
Madam Speaker, although these challenges are daunting, I firmly
believe President Fox and his administration have the determination,
the skill and the knowledge to address these issues successfully. I
urge my colleagues to join me in pledging their support to President
Fox, his administration, and Mexico's national parliament in their
continuing efforts to address these and other issues of mutual concern.
Madam Speaker, as indicated earlier by the gentleman from Illinois
(Mr. Hyde), President Fox will address a joint session of Congress
tomorrow. To President Fox and his delegation I say, ``Bienvenidos a
los Estados Unidos,'' welcome to the United States. I strongly urge my
colleagues to support this measure.
Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. GILMAN. Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of H. Con.
Res. 233, which recognizes the important relationship between the U.S.
Madam Speaker, like many Americans, I have been impressed by Mexico
President Fox's policies on a wide range of fronts. We congratulate
him, and the Mexican people, on their commitment to democracy, which
has been demonstrated in the revolutionary changes undertaken in the
run-up to the most recent election, in the conduct of that election,
and in its aftermath.
President Fox has broken new ground regarding counter-narcotics
cooperation, economic reform, the fight against corruption and illegal
immigration into Mexico en route to the United States. It is in the
American national interest that he succeeds in all these fields.
For Mexico's economic reforms to take root, however, it must end its
long-standing prohibition against foreign investment in its energy
sector. The current prohibition has proved to be an enormous impediment
to progress in Mexico. Currently, Mexico produces 3.8 million barrels
of oil a day, the fifth-largest producer in the world. But, if it
developed all the oil resources that it has, it could produce 6 million
barrels a day, the second largest producer, according to the well-known
firm, Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
The growth potential for its gas sector is even more dramatic. Mexico
is currently producing 4.5 billion cubic feet per day. But according to
Cambridge Energy Associates, Mexico could more than double this to 10
billion cubic feet per day. Canada, in fact, produces four times as
much gas as Mexico even though both countries have the same amount of
gas reserves. Currently Mexico actually imports natural gas from the
United States, when the situation if anything, should be the reverse.
Yet, opening up the Mexican energy sector to foreign investment is
just the first step towards the economic take-off that both Mexico and
the United States seek. Once they increase their energy capacity,
Mexico should resist the temptation to play politics with the
Organization of Petroleum Exporters. Mexico, it should be recalled, and
before President Fox took power, was a key player in pushing oil prices
up from $10 a barrel in 1999 to today's $25 a barrel, when it colluded
with Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to limit production. Its Minister has
publicly boasted of this effort.
The oil price rise that they helped to engineer staggered our US
economy. Richard Berner, chief economist at Morgan Stanley Dean
Whitter, estimates that every $5 increase in the price of a barrel of
oil knocks 0.3 percentage points off of our GDP. The price rise since
1999 represents one full percentage of our GDP, or hundreds of
thousands of jobs. And the irony of course, is that the energy price
rise that Mexico helped to create ended up hurting its own economy
because of the repercussions it had on the United States economy.
What does all this mean for the United States and for Mexico?
Clearly, the US welcomes our new relationship with Mexico. But if we
are going to take this relationship up the next level-including
improved treatment for the millions of Mexicos who are in this country
illegally--we must have a new deal regarding Mexican energy production.
Foreign investment and an end to Mexican cooperation with OPEC will
serve the interests of both of our countries by opening the flood-gates
of Mexican energy production and undermining the OPEC cartel. Cheaper
energy will benefit the entire world economy--not least of all the
United States and President Fox of Mexico.
Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I
yield back the balance of my time.
The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Biggert). The question is on the motion
offered by the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) that the House
suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 233.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds of
those present have voted in the affirmative.
Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be
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