Washington, DC - Business leaders from the United States and Mexico concluded the sixth meeting of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, a bilateral private sector forum fostering conversation on key economic and trade issues that impact the relationship between the two countries.

Led by Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and John G. Rice, Vice Chairman, President and CEO of Global Growth and Operations of General Electric and Co-Chair of the CEO Dialogue, the meeting highlighted advances in the Dialogue’s goals and discussed next steps in enhancing the economic relationship between the United States and Mexico.

“As we continue to navigate this long economic recovery, it’s important that we do everything we can to spark economic development here at home,” said Donohue. “Strong global relationships are critical to secure a more competitive and prosperous America, and the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is an especially important one. Now is the time to lean into our priority economic partnerships, just as we have through the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue, finding common ground on which to build a foundation for greater growth, advanced trade, and more jobs.”

During the meetings—led on the Mexican side by Consejo Coordinador Empresarial Chairman Juan Pablo Castañón Castañón and by Alfa’s Chairman and Dialogue Co-Chair Armando Garza—participants finalized plans for advancing bilateral priority policy initiatives in partnership with government colleagues from the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), and underscored the role the Dialogue will play in messaging the importance of the bilateral relationship.

The CEO Dialogue applauded the progress made at the 2016 HLED and, in particular, progress made toward establishing the U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council, which will help harness North America’s potential to be the energy superpower of the 21st century, leverage Mexico’s historic energy sector reforms, and foster more efficient cross-border energy infrastructure integration and regulatory cooperation.

Additional recommendations include making trade by rail more efficient and secure; aligning government and private sector visions on the future of the border region as an area of economic opportunity; and improving workers’ skills and health, recognizing that a competitive North American region relies on a well-trained and healthy workforce.

The private-sector leaders also continue to call for the governments of North America to develop and advance a positive long-term vision for enhanced continental cooperation and integration based on four pillars: enhancing North American competitiveness, optimizing cross-border trade, transforming the common space, and advancing key trade initiatives.

“Developing this long term vision is essential for regional cooperation,” said Castañón Castañón. “The North American region is built on its manufacturing, energy, automotive chemical, electronics and aerospace industries. These industries are growing rapidly, while integration policy is not.”

The U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue is a mechanism for working toward the goals of increased economic integration and prosperity between the United States and Mexico that Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto set when they announced the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue. The findings and recommendations produced during this week’s discussions continue to help inform policymakers on a host of business and economic issues, providing meaningful private-sector input for economic policymaking in both governments.