Mexican officials want to talk to about joint strategies to jump-start both nations' economies, Glover said.
U.S. manufacturers employ thousands of people at their Mexican factories. In recent weeks, U.S. automakers have shut down factories in Saltillo, Toluca and other Mexican cities because of slumping sales. About 43,500 Mexicans work in auto plants, and thousands more for auto parts suppliers.
One hot topic during the Bush administration will probably be missing from the agenda this time: changes to U.S. laws to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, said S. Lynne Walker of the Institute of the Americas, a think tank in La Jolla, Calif., that specializes in Latin American economic issues.
"Any time there's a serious economic downturn, there's no way the United States can talk about immigration reform," Walker said. "Americans are standing in line for jobs … so it's just not going to fly, politically."
Hawley is Latin America correspondent for USA TODAY and The Arizona Republic. Contributing: Sergio Solache