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[Congressional Record: September 5, 2001 (House)]
[Page H5363-H5364]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

  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).

                             General Leave

  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 
not true.
  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.

                              {time}  1615

  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 
his remarks.)
  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 
International Relations.
  I also acknowledge the support of the chairman of the Subcommittee on 
the Western Hemisphere, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 

[[Page H5364]]

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 
United States.
  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. 
and Mexico.
  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