Keynote Speech: Opportunities and Challenges for Mexico Today

10/29/2015 The International Trade Journal

By Diana Villiers Negroponte


Since its pre-colonial history, Mexico has demonstrated two contrary tendencies: the outward-looking, global trader and the protective, nationalist instinct. Today, the seven major constitutional reforms of the PRI government reflect the former. However, the teacher’s union, some presidential advisors, and the criminal justice system reflect a preference for the latter. The more progressive sectors of Mexican society assert the need to participate in the global economy, but latent protective and nationalist tendencies throw up challenges. This article examines several contemporary examples of each tendency and demonstrates how they coexist uneasily in modern Mexico.

This article was published by our Advisory Board Member Diana Villiers Negroponte in the International Trade Journal (Volume 29, Issue 5, 2015). Click here to read the full article


The Senate Has Delayed Confirming an Ambassador to Mexico. America Needs One Now.

11/5/2015 The National Interest

By Duncan Wood and Andrew Selee, Wilson Center

mexican-flag1The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has been without an ambassador since July. It’s not all that unusual for an embassy to be vacant for a few months, but then again, this is not a usual relationship. Not only is this one of the largest U.S. embassies in the world, but it is the hub for managing one of our country’s most complex and important relationships, and one that has tangible value for millions of Americans in their daily life.

To begin with, Mexico and the United States trade over a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services a year, or more than a million dollars a minute, only slightly behind Canada and China as America’s third-largest commercial relationship. What’s more, Mexico is the United States’ second-biggest export market, ahead of China, and people in twenty-seven states—from Texas and Arizona to Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan, and even New Hampshire—depend on Mexico as the first or second destination for exports produced in their state. Around six million U.S. jobs are closely tied to exports to Mexico.

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New Publication | Managing the Mexico-U.S. Border: Working for a More Integrated and Competitive North America

By Sergio Alcocer

Anatomy of a RelationshipThe border between Mexico and the United States is one of the most dynamic in the world. The United States and Mexican border states together represent the world’s 4th largest economy, see more than $500 billion dollars per year in bilateral trade, and house 56 crossing points where nearly 300,000 vehicle crossings take place on a daily basis.

Our countries have always had a complex and intertwined relationship and have established different and successful mechanisms to manage border matters. At present, the level of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on border issues is the highest testament of the maturity and strength of the bilateral relationship. Positive synergies are now in place, our common values and cultural ties are nowhere more visible than at our shared border, benefitting both societies.

This essay aims to offer a holistic approach and view of the border region. It focuses on the key aspects that comprise it, and also explains the mechanisms established by Mexico and the United States, describing the strong collaboration that has been accomplished by both countries.

The above text is an excerpt from the introduction to the essayThis essay is part two of our series “The Anatomy of a Relationship: A Collection of Essays on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation on Border Management.”

Read the essay here. 

EVENT TOMORROW | Innovation in Colonias on the Texas-Mexico Border: Building on Border Assets

man_w_social_media_0WHEN: TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 27, 9:00-11:00am

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory and Mexico Institute, along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, are pleased to invite you to the event, Innovation in Colonias on the Texas-Mexico Border: Building on Border Assets.” While public discussion often focuses on the challenges facing low-income communities living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, the region’s assets can be leveraged to advance local economic development. A panel of experts will discuss opportunities to promote  development, entrepreneurship and job creation for the colonia populations living along the border. Panelists will discuss how policies for affordable housing, infrastructure, education, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and health can be integrated with efforts to build an inclusive economy and strong community networks and cooperation. On-the-ground innovation in the border region and in the colonias offers important new models for development in underserved communities.

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border”, provides context for the discussion. Texas colonias, home to an estimated 500,000 people, represent one of the largest concentrations of poverty in the U.S. This report offers a comprehensive profile of Texas border colonias, assessing the opportunities, successes, and challenges facing these communities.

Click here to RSVP. 

How To Make Mexico More Competitive: More Corporate Ethics & State Efficiency, Less Corruption

10/21/2015 Mexico Institute-Forbes Blog

By Viridiana Rios

Between 2013 and 2014, Mexico approved historically needed reforms to increase competition, strengthen financial markets, reduce energy costs, improve the quality of education, and make labor markets more flexible.

Yet, according to the figures published just last week by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the country’s competitiveness ranking remains the same as it was a decade ago. Despite Congressional approval of the structural reforms that analysts and observers have demanded for years, there has been little evidence that Mexico is significantly more competitive than it was in 2005.

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What does agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) mean?

10/7/2015 Wilson Center

By Diana Villiers Negroponte, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member

On October 4, the 12 trading partners in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) reached agreement after tough negotiations lasting 7 years. [1] The final hurdles on intellectual property protection for pharmaceuticals, market access for dairy products and rules of origin for automobiles were resolved at the recent meeting in Atlanta.  (In 2008, President Bush joined the trade negotiations which had started with 3 nations in 2002). The sense of relief is notable, but TTP must still be approved by the U.S. Congress. All 12 countries need U.S. leadership on this major trade agreement and all made concessions to keep the U.S. in the game.  For the United States to reject TPP because of pressure from the tobacco, pharmaceutical or any other specific industrial group would indicate American reluctance to play a leadership role in the world.  The 11 other parties to TPP are watching the U.S. Congress closely. Will it accept this agreement impacting countries that account for 40% of global GDP and 26% of world trade, or will it withdraw into domestic partisan fights and ignore the global impact?

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Mexico to slash spending by $5.8bn

9/9/2015 Financial Times

energy- oil pumps 2Mexico plans to cut spending by another $5.8bn in 2016, finance minister Luis Videgaray said on Tuesday, after its economy was buffeted by tough global economic conditions and especially the drop in oil prices.

A 2016 budget package, which he submitted to Congress, reduces spending by 1.15 per cent of gross domestic product compared with the 2015 package — a total of 221bn pesos ($13bn). Mr Videgaray said that more than half of the budgetary belt-tightening had already happened — amid falling oil prices, Mexico’s main budgetary problem, the government announced a pre-emptive 124bn peso austerity drive in January.

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