U.S. Ambassador Charles J. Pilliod Jr. on Thursday called for an end to conflict between the U.S. and Mexican governments over their efforts to combat illegal drugs.
"Rather than engaging in name-calling over this difficult and emotional issue, we must improve cooperation in stopping the drug invasion," he said.The U.S. Senate recently voted to revoke President Reagan's certification that Mexico was doing its part in the war on drugs. The vote provoked an angry reaction from the Mexican government.
"It is important to remember that it would be impossible for the U.S. or Mexico to have an effective, comprehensive anti-drug program without the other's full cooperation," Pilliod said.
In a speech to a U.S.-Mexican agriculture conference in the Pacific resort of Mazatlan, the ambassador also spoke about commerce and the new U.S. immigration law.
The United States provided $14.5 million to Mexico in anti-narcotics assistance in the 1987 fiscal year, Pilliod said, most of which went to helicopter pilot training and spare parts for aircraft used to eradicate marijuana and opium poppy fields.
U.S. authorities also provided intelligence on narcotics shipments to their Mexican counterparts, Pilliod said.
Pilliod praised growing agricultural trade, which he said totaled more than $3 billion in 1986 and was expected to reach between $4.5 billion and $5 billion annually in the 1990s.
Mexico now is the largest supplier of agricultural products to the United States, with exports of over $2 billion in 1986, Pilliod said. Agricultural exports to its northern neighbor jumped 40 percent last year, he said.
Pilliod characterized prospects for increased trade in the sector as excellent, saying the U.S. and Mexican markets "complement one another."
Pilliod said the omnibus trade legislation passed by Congress would have little, if any impact on Mexican agricultural exports to the American market.