MEXICO CITY (AP) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said during a visit to Mexico on Friday that he wants to deepen relations between the neighboring countries beyond drugs, security and immigration.
Launching the High Level Economic Dialogue to boost trade and investment ties, Biden urged the two countries to develop a stronger economic partnership that can move "more people, goods and information across our border."
"We have a billion dollars a day in trade. Is there any businessman or woman here who can't rationally picture in 10 years that being $2 billion?" Biden asked, while speaking at the Foreign Ministry. "We cannot settle for business as usual."
Biden was scheduled to meet Friday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has been dealing with massive flooding in the southern state of Guerrero and street protests by teachers opposed to his education reforms.
Biden quipped that he thought the masses that have choked Mexico City streets for several weeks had assembled to welcome him.
"I was disappointed when I found out that the 15,000 out there weren't hollering 'Biden, Biden,'" he said.
Biden spoke after meeting with Mexico's secretaries of finance, foreign affairs, tourism, economy and education. He is traveling with the U.S. secretaries of commerce, homeland security and transportation and the U.S. trade representative.
President Barack Obama announced the bilateral economic dialogue in a visit to Mexico in May. According to the White House, the annual cabinet-level meetings are designed to promote mutual growth, job creation and economic competitiveness.
"I have personally at the request of the president focused on the Middle East, Syria and events in that region. But the president made clear to me, and as they say he was pushing on an open door, that no matter what occupies us immediately, it is important for us to be here," Biden said. "President Obama is deeply interested in the maturation of our relationship at every level."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The Xenia man who opened fire on police officers pleaded guilty Friday to attempted aggravated murder.
Oakwood Police are asking for help in finding the suspects that stole thousands of dollars worth of eye glasses frames.
Two people were injured in what police are calling an "Active Shooter Situation" in Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., just south of Denver, local NBC affiliate KUSA is reporting.
Mark your calendars: House Speaker John Boehner has invited President Barack Obama to deliver the State of the Union address on Jan. 28.
The University of Dayton will graduate its Fall 2013 class on Dec. 14.