President Joe Biden will meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday to discuss a variety of topics that will include relations with Cuba, immigration, and fentanyl trafficking.
Biden and López Obrador are expected to discuss more steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of fentanyl smuggled into the United States, thus potentially reducing the high number of deaths associated with the drug.
The two presidents have been in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that began on November 15.
Biden has already held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and a joint meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as reported by The Hill.
López Obrador has also met with leaders from other countries during the conference, including meetings with Xi, Kishida, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Mexican president has said he plans to use Friday’s meeting with Biden to address the relationship between the United States and Cuba.
The conversation is expected to revolve around López Obrador urging the United States to end the sanctions against the island country that have been in place since 1962, according to the Associated Press.
The two presidents are also expected to discuss migration across the U.S.-Mexico border, as the United States faces a growing crisis due to the high number of unlawful migrants.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported in September that there were 269,735 agency encounters with unlawful migrants, a record high for a single month, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
To help support the high number of arrivals, Mexico and the United States came to an agreement in which Mexico agreed to deport unlawful migrants back to their home country before they enter the United States.
In addition to Cuba and migration, the two presidents are expected to discuss the ongoing issues with fentanyl trafficking in the United States.
The synthetic opioid fentanyl has become one of the deadliest drugs in the U.S., accounting for 70,601 overdose deaths in 2021, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
This meeting with Mexico is significant since the two primary sources of fentanyl trafficked into the United States are China and Mexico, according to the AP. The chemicals required to make fentanyl are reportedly often shipped from China to Mexico, where they are then used to process fentanyl that is subsequently smuggled into the United States by cartels.
During a meeting between Biden and Xi, the former was allegedly able to persuade the Chinese leader to take more effective measures to prevent the transportation of chemicals used in the production of fentanyl to Mexico. As a result, Biden agreed to remove China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science from a list of entities subject to trade sanctions, as reported by Reuters.