Sunday, April 7th, 10:30 am (EST)
This week on Dialogue at the Wilson Center we present a discussion of America’s borders. We begin with a look northward. Our guest is the director of the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute David Biette. We also turn our sights south to the U.S.-Mexico border with Christopher Wilson, an associate with the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute.
Watch live stream here.
The final tally came out to $500 billion in goods and services traded between the two countries, according to a paper by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and Arizona State University’s North American Center for Transborder Studies.
Co-author Christopher Wilson says commerce between the U.S. and Mexico has reached a milestone, despite concerns that instability from warring drug cartels would hinder trade.
“It also leads one to ask what would Mexico’s economic growth and foreign investment look like in Mexico if there were not this security situation? And I think the answer is there would be more,” Wilson said.
Kezia McKeague, Americas Quarterly , 4/4/12
Assembled in the White House Rose Garden for a joint press conference on Monday, the “three amigos” of North America projected an image of trilateral comity in keeping with the depth of their countries’ relationships.
Yet Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper departed the one-day North American Leaders’ Summit without a firm commitment from U.S. President Barack Obama on their request to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Buried in the penultimate line of the lengthy joint statement was a coy response: “The United States welcomes Canada’s and Mexico’s interest in joining the TPP as ambitious partners.”
As President Obama acknowledged in the Rose Garden, TPP’s high-standards approach “could be a real model for the world.” Indeed, the goal of the original four TPP members—Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore—was to create a uniquely comprehensive agreement to which like-minded countries on both sides of the Pacific could accede, thus linking Asia and the Americas.
The top leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico hold a trilateral North American Leaders’ Summit at the White House today to thrash out conflicts in energy and regulations to boost economic competitiveness and increase jobs.
President Barack Obama hosts Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for talks on economic growth and competitiveness, citizen security against terrorism, energy and climate change, according to the White House.
“There are no relationships in the world more important than our relationships with Mexico and Canada from an economic and security standpoint,” said Robert A. Pastor, director of the Center for North American Studies at American University in Washington. “They are our two largest markets by far.”
Mexico Institute, 2/21/12
The event begins this morning at 9:00 am, Washington time, and will end at 11:00 am. For your convenience, the event will be webcast live and may be viewed here, at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s website.
In Dependent America?, Stephen Clarkson and Matto Mildenberger explore the extent to which U.S. power is a function of its capacity to mobilize other states’ material and moral support. Dependent America? establishes that Canada and Mexico are the largest of all these foreign determinants of U.S. power, particularly in matters of economic, security, and global affairs. At a time when the challenge to U.S. global hegemony is again on the policy agenda, the book has a message for U.S. policymakers: “do not throttle the goose that lays the golden egg by building security walls that are strangling the United States’ most productive foreign economic relationship.”
Mexico may receive as much as $20 billion in foreign direct investment this year, 11 percent more than a prior forecast, as the second-biggest Latin American economy’s low wages and proximity to the U.S. draw producers.
“Companies are looking for the best place to invest,” Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari said in an Aug. 19 interview in Los Angeles. “It’s obvious that Mexico has been that place for North America.”
Robert A. Pastor, America’s Quarterly, Spring 2011
Two decades ago, the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States forged an agreement that transformed North America from just a geographical expression to the world’s most formidable economic entity. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) eliminated most of the trade and investment barriers that had segmented the continent. Within a decade, trade among the three countries tripled and foreign direct investment (FDI) quintupled. By 2001, the three nations of North America accounted for 36 percent of the world product—up from 30 percent in 1994. And while many economists have waxed enthusiastic about the growing power of Brazil, U.S. trade with Mexico today is more than six times larger than its trade with Brazil.
Unfortunately, since 2001 regional cooperation has stagnated. NAFTA, designed to expand trade and investment, has proven too limited in addressing the current issues facing the three countries. The time has come for the leaders of North America to recommit to regional integration if they want to effectively address the policy issues facing the region.
The latest issue of Capitol Ideas, the magazine of the Council of State Governments, features articles on the U.S. relationship with its neighbors, Mexico and Canada, which highlights how important these two countries are for local exports from U.S. states.
Read the issue here.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to Quebec today to meet the foreign ministers of Canada and Mexico to discuss the North American economy, regional security and energy and climate change, among other issues.
Clinton will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere AffairsArturo Valenzuela, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual and U.S. Ambassador to CanadaDavid Jacobson. The meeting with foreign ministers Lawrence Cannon of Canada and Patricia Espinosa of Mexico will be held in Wakefield, Quebec.
State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the meeting is an opportunity to “reinforce the close relations among the three nations and to identify common objectives and strategies to ensure greater security and well-being, as well as economic prosperity.”
Valenzuela said the three foreign ministers will go over a possible agenda for a presidential summit expected early next year.