POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Sen. Lee shares insights in recent visit with Mexico’s president

Mar 21, 2023, 9:30 PM

Image of Utah Sen. Mike Lee. Mike Lee has introduced the SCREEN Act to protect children from online...

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is proposing the SCREEN Act to protect children from online pornography. (Kristin Murphy /Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy /Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Recently, a bipartisan group of eight senators and four representatives met with Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Among the topics discussed between leaders of the two countries were immigration, trade and the use of fentanyl. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) was among the delegation to take part in those conversations. On Tuesday, he joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson to discuss his takeaways from the visit.

Lee says the delegation was made of Republicans and Democrats with a “pretty wide range of ideological viewpoints.”

“But all united behind the idea that we have a lot of important discussions with our neighbor, on our southern border,” Lee said.

Lee says the Mexican president was gracious with his time. He says the U.S. delegation spent between 4 and 4.5 hours visiting with President Obrador.

“I found it productive,” Lee said. “We didn’t agree on everything and nor would one expect that in this circumstance.”

Matheson asked how the fentanyl portion of the conversation went. 

“This is one of the scariest things I’ve seen in the 12 years I’ve been in office,” Lee said. “The flood of fentanyl coming into our country, basically entirely from Mexico has been so overwhelming, and the manner in which it enters the illicit drug market is so devious.”

Lee says it’s relatively easy to smuggle and inexpensive to manufacture. Added with the fact that it’s an addictive and toxic substance, the U.S. has a real problem on its hands. 

“And you’ve got a recipe for disaster,” he said.

Trade talk with Mexico’s president

During the visit, Lee gave a short speech on the importance of trade between the two countries. Specifically, with an eye toward becoming less dependent on China for trade.

President Obrador agreed with many of the things that Lee had to say.

“He does not want Mexico to become dependent on trade with China,” Lee said. “He sees China, appropriately. As a predatory trade partner, one that has been inflicting a lot of harm on a lot of countries all over the world.”

Lee stressed that the two countries have a lot more in common other than a 2,000-mile border.

“There’s a lot we share in terms of religious beliefs,” he said. “In terms of cuisine, even our languages are increasingly over lapping. Increasing numbers of Americans have relatives living in Mexico and vice versa.” 

Additionally, Lee says in many parts citizens of both countries are drinking out of the same watersheds and breathing the same air. It’s for these reasons, he says, that the two countries need to stick together. 

 

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard on weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Sen. Lee shares insights in recent visit with Mexico’s president