President Bush. Let me just say that these agreements we're about to sign are symbolic of the breadth and ever-growing closeness of the United States-Mexican ties. They do prove the special relationship between our countries. It's never been stronger. And I welcome them as a commitment of our two Governments and of the President and myself to make progress over a wide variety of issues.
The understanding regarding trade and investment facilitation talks, for example, moves beyond the consultation encouraged by our framework understanding on trade to create a mandate for negotiation. And by taking the initiative, we will promote the increased trade and investment that can benefit both sides of our border.
The agreement on the protection and improvement of the environment of Mexico City is also significant, particularly in these times. For it commits our Governments to jointly find ways to resolve air and other pollution problems in one of the largest cities in the world. Improving the quality of life for our people is a priority for both of our Governments, and we welcome the personal commitment to this matter by President Salinas and his leadership. So is finding a balanced response important -- a balanced response to our environmental needs. And this agreement confronts those needs.
So, these two agreements, and others that will be signed this afternoon, as well as our joint efforts to fashion a plan for addressing Mexico's external debt, are concrete examples of how our administrations have worked closely together during the last 10 months. These agreements come from teamwork. They show what can and must be done to make relations between our two great nations even closer than they are today. So, Mr. President, I am delighted to be with you as we witness the signing of these two historic agreements, and I would welcome your comments, sir.
President Salinas. The signing of these agreements simply comes to show the atmosphere of friendship that leads to concrete results which will undoubtedly benefit our two nations.
The first one, the one on trade and investments, for the facilitation of trade and investment, simply opens up additional sources of employment in Mexico for Mexicans. It is also encouraging the export of products to generate well-being amongst all our citizens. It will further the investment processes so that Mexicans can find a job in Mexico. That is the central purpose of my visit to this country. This is a good and very positive atmosphere of dialog which shows respect in our relations. There are differences, there are points of coincidence. But what it simply comes to show is that although we have differences, we have respect for them. In trade, we have more points of convergence that could even be furthered. Mexico has a political will in order to translate these specific agreements into benefits that will become a reality.
The second one, which is the agreement on the protection and the improvement of the environment, is, as you might well realize, of great relevance. Mexico City, the metropolitan area of Mexico, is the most populated and most polluted city in the world. Its population -- the number of inhabitants that this city has -- is more than the total population of Central America. We want better air for the Mexicans, for their children, and for the children of their children in Mexico.
The signing of these agreements is proof of the good will that exists between the two countries in relation to the benefits that this will derive for Mexico and for those who will visit Mexico, to not only receive its very cordial and brotherly hospitality but to enjoy its beauty and its culture.
May my recognition and my acknowledgement go together with my gratitude for the very positive attitude that the U.S. Government has shown in this open dialog -- which is proved today when we subscribe and sign these agreements for the benefit of the two countries.
Note: President Bush spoke at 10:52 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. The agreements were signed by Secretary of State James A. Baker III and Mexican Foreign Minister Fernando Solana Morales. President Salinas spoke in Spanish, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.