Watch here: http://bit.ly/USMXborder
As President Obama heads to Mexico to meet with his counterpart, Enrique Peña Nieto, bilateral economic ties are deeper and more massive than ever. In fact, in 2012 the volume of bilateral trade grew to the point that our countries trade a million dollars in goods and services every minute.1 With almost 80 percent of all bilateral merchandise trade crossing the land border, making sure the border is both secure and efficient is more important than ever.
Unfortunately, long lineups to cross the border currently cost the economies of the United States and Mexico billions of dollars each year in lost economic growth and eat away at the competitiveness of manufacturers working in the region. To eliminate the border bottleneck, investments in border infrastructure and staffing are important and necessary, but they are not cheap. One tried and true solution, however, is especially cost effective.
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English-language press had to say…
Last Friday, some 2,000 teachers protesting the education reforms proposed by the Peña Nieto administration blocked the highway between Mexico City and Acapulco for several hours. Federal policemen forced them off the roads, but future clashes are likely. Mexican officials announced homicide rates are down about 14% compared to the same period last year. Media outlets including the Los Angeles Times remained highly skeptical of such claims, and directed attention to the growing vigilante crisis affecting parts of the country, as well as the violence suffered by journalists covering organized crime.
Optimistic news pieces, however, continued to surface. Real Clear Politics referred to Mexico as a “stable, politically diverse neighbor.” American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies remarked that while “Brazil was everyone’s favorite two years ago, Mexico is now being hailed as a hot performer.” And in an article for The New York Times, Eduardo Porter argued Mexico’s austerity experience following the 1982 financial crisis holds lessons for struggling European nations today.
On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered outside the U.S. Capitol and across the United States in support of immigration reform. A bipartisan bill led by eight senators – which Politico reports may be released next Tuesday – will define ‘border security’ as “100% awareness of when people cross the most trafficked sections of the Southwest border,” as well as the ability to stop 90% of unauthorized traffic. In an op-ed for The Dallas Morning News, the Mexico Institute’s Christopher Wilson argued that more attention should be placed on the “staffing, infrastructure and technology needs of ports of entry themselves” in order to secure the border and enhance America’s economic competitiveness. A conservative think-tank released a study arguing immigration reform would boost economic growth and reduce the federal deficit.
As the senatorial Gang of Eight finalizes its immigration reform bill, it has become clear that border security will be a key, if contentious, part of any viable immigration proposal. In fact, it remains one of the few sticking points with the potential to derail the whole reform process. Yet despite having so much riding on improving border security, there is no clear definition of the term.
Statistics about drug smuggling, aspiring terrorists and unauthorized immigrants are naturally difficult to collect. In the absence of clear metrics to guide our border strategy and funding, we have given ever more resources to the Border Patrol, which operates in the areas between official border crossings. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the staffing, infrastructure and technology needs of ports of entry themselves, both leaving them less secure and undermining America’s economic competitiveness in the process.
New Resources: Immigration and Border Realities, Regional Competitiveness, Transboundary Hydrocarbons AgreementApril 2, 2013
The Mexico Institute is pleased to share with you the following new resources:
Andrew Selee, Vice President for Programs at the Wilson Center and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute, wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, titled “The New Reality at the Border.” Selee asserts that in the future, illegal immigration flows to the U.S. are likely to come from places farther away than Mexico, due to the deterrent effect of increased border security, the well-performing Mexican economy, and Mexico’s changing demographic profile.
To read Duncan Wood’s statement from the hearing click here
Duncan Wood, Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on March 14, 2013. The hearing, titled “U.S. Energy Security: Enhancing Partnerships with Mexico and Canada,” included a discussion of the Keystone XL pipeline and the Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement.
Christopher Wilson, Associate at the Mexico Institute, wrote an opinion piece for Animal Politico, a news site on Mexican politics. The op-ed encourages Mexico and the United States to develop a regional competitiveness agenda that envisions North America as the most competitive region in the world, addressing issues such as efficient border management, bilateral cooperation on international trade negotiations, regulatory harmonization, trade liberalization in services such as transportation and healthcare, and the simplification of customs procedures.
By: Christopher E. Wilson, Animal Politico, March 25, 2013
Mientras no sepamos hacia dónde vamos como región, y no nos entendamos como una región, nos vamos a quedar con una agenda económica que parece una lista de pendientes. Vamos a tener líderes que se les hará difícil hablar de los avances en relaciones económicas de una forma interesante y explicar a sus poblaciones que ya no somos competidores sino socios.