Felipe Calderon (photo), the Mexican president, and John McCain, have met for talks, in the final part of the US Republican candidate tour in Latin America.
On Thursday, the Arizona senator said that the two leaders had discussed issued central to both nations, including immigration and drug trafficking.
The Republican candidate also indirectly criticised his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, concerning his policy towards the North American Free Trader Agreement (Nafta). The Illinois senator has said he would re-open negotiations over the agreement.
John McCain says he opposes moves to “unilaterally re-open” Nafta, a free trade pact between the US, Canada and Mexico.
Earlier, Mr McCain (photo) urged the US Congress to pass a free trade deal between his country and Colombia, which he had visited, as part of a tour of Latin America aimed at boosting his profile and assuring the region and US voters of his foreign policy experience.
Economy in turmoil
As they comprise 15 per cent of the nation’s population, the visit was also aimed at courting the US Latino communities, say analysts.
A free trade bill has been stalled with Colombia by the Democrat-controlled US congress, as a consequence of concerns of potential job losses in the US, at a time when the nation’s economy is in turmoil, and also over concerns of rights abuses in the South American country.
Mr McCain, while speaking at a news conference alongside with president Calderon, praised recent US initiatives on border security, like the controversial border fence being built between the two nations.
And in order to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border to find work, he urged the US to create a “temporary worker programme”.
Last month, $400m in aid have been approved by the US congress, to pay for drug smuggling surveillance equipment. It is the first instalment of the $1.4bn “Merida Initiative” package promised by the US president, George Bush.