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Mexico; United States: Agreements on Counter Proliferation and Customs and Border Security Matters

(July 8, 2014) Authorities from the United States and Mexico recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will allow these two countries to work together in the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related technologies and goods. (Press Release, Embassy of the United States in Mexico, U.S. Embassy and SAT Sign Agreement for Closer Cooperation on Counter Proliferation (Apr. 25, 2014).)

Specifically, the MOU provides conditions under which Mexico’s Customs Administration and the U. S. Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security program (EXBS) may collaborate in matters related to global, national, and regional threats derived from illegal transfers of these assets. (Id.)

The EXBS program aims at disrupting dangerous transfers and accumulations of conventional weapons and preventing the proliferation of WMD through the establishment of trade control systems in countries that produce, possess, or provide these items or that serve as transit points for them. (Export Control and Related Border Security Program, U.S. Department of State website (last visited July 7, 2014).)

A press release issued on the occasion of the signature of the MOU explains that since 2005, the EXBS program has assisted Mexico in its counter-proliferation efforts in a variety of ways, including:

· sponsoring and conducting several relevant workshops and courses;
· training over 1,800 Mexican officers in a wide variety of counter-proliferation topics, including WMD interdiction and commodity identification; and
· donating several radiation detectors and chemical and radiological identification equipment to the Mexican government. (Press Release, supra.)

The two countries also recently signed a Declaration of Principles agreement that provides several measures on joint border management and security. (Press Release, Embassy of the United States in Mexico, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson Signs Updated Declaration of Principles Agreement with Minister Luis Videgaray (Mar. 20, 2014).)

This agreement provides that the U. S. Department of Homeland Security and Mexico’s Department of the Treasury will collaborate on a number of goals, including:

· development of a single customs manifest that complies with Mexican and U.S. applicable customs requirements for imports and exports;
· increasing the exchange of information in money laundering and trade investigations;
· implementation of pre-inspection programs aimed at facilitating trade; and
· identification of bilateral initiatives and programs to strengthen law enforcement collaboration and improve border operations. (Id.)