Trump just might be giving us the opportunity to make NAFTA even stronger

6/7/2017 Dallas News

By Alan Bersin, Mexico Institute Global Fellow and Former Commissioner, U.S. CBP

Donald Trump’s campaign, when it turned to issues, focused on migration, borders and trade. Characteristic of populist crusades, it zeroed in on foreigners to explain this country’s purported loss of greatness. Mexico and Mexicans were targeted with particular venom: NAFTA was the worst trade deal ever, Mexican migrants were rapists and thugs, and only a big wall could ensure our border security. In office, the administration’s initial policy pronouncements tracked the rhetoric: NAFTA will be scrapped, undocumented migrants will be deported and the wall will be built.

Two months into governing, the new administration’s messages remain mixed, but talk has turned from abject negation of the North American Free Trade Agreement to likely renegotiation with a decidedly positive focus on competitiveness. The realities of the complex, symbiotic U.S.-Mexican relationship have begun to assert themselves: We don’t trade with one another so much as make things together, and both countries protect themselves through shared perimeter security systems that won’t work absent trust and confidence between officials on both sides of the border.

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Till death do us part: US, Mexico inextricably linked

3/9/2017 The Hill

By Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute

us mex flagIt has often been noted that the U.S.-Mexico relationship is like a marriage — it has its ups and downs, disputes and romances, but, essentially, the two countries are tied together.

Nonetheless, abusive language can be highly destructive. While the recent turmoil in the relationship may not be lead to divorce, there is a very real danger of estrangement if the two nations do not receive the right counseling.

The current marital conflict has far-reaching impacts, and the urgency of reaffirming the bilateral relation transcends the diplomatic rhetoric of the need for mere peaceful coexistence between neighboring nations.

America Can Compete Successfully

1/23/2017 Medium

By Earl Anthony Wayne, Public Policy Fellow & Advisory Board Member, Mexico Institute

Much national debate over the last year has been about how the United States, its companies and its workers can compete successfully in the world. The theme was clear in President Trump’s inaugural speech. And, most observers agree that America has what it takes to succeed, but it needs to deploy an array of improved policies and tools to face global competition. We must draw on the best ideas from across the political spectrum and agree on a comprehensive strategy.

Some seek to push ahead aggressively on select reforms without trying to build a broader coalition. Yet there is clear potential for President Trump and his allies to forge wider agreement around an ambitious agenda for making the United States more competitive globally. Agreements that cross party lines would make it more likely that the programs America needs to excel in global markets are enacted, funded and well implemented.

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Prioridades para el nuevo embajador en Estados Unidos

4/7/2016 Animal Politico

By Duncan Wood and Viridiana Rios

us mex flagMéxico cambió su embajador en Estados Unidos, nombrando a Carlos Manuel Sada Solana. La prioridad del nuevo embajador es clara: representar a México en una forma más constructiva y positiva, sobre todo ante el congreso estadounidense, identificando a los representantes y senadores que pueden tener influencia en la relación bilateral. Esto será importante no solamente en el contexto de este año electoral, también para la relación a largo plazo.

La principal tarea del embajador Sada Solana debería ser una: no responder de forma directa al discurso antiméxico que se está detonando por el periodo electoral, sino estratégica. Se debe enfatizar la importancia de nuestra relación con Estados Unidos, y los logros significativos que ha tenido México en los últimos años. Ello incluye la aprobación de reformas, la creación del Dialogo Económico de Alto Nivel (DEAN o HLED por sus siglas en Inglés), el desarrollo de una frontera inteligente, los esfuerzos bilaterales en energía, cambio climático, crimen organizado, y migración.

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North America needs to pivot…to North America

1/29/2016 The Globe and Mail

north americaBy Michael Kergin, Arturo Sarukhan and Anthony Wayne

The authors are former Canadian ambassador to the United States, former Mexican ambassador to the United States and former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, respectively.

The foreign ministers of North America will meet in Quebec City on Friday morning with little fanfare. Yet, at a time of growing global disorder and uncertainty, North America is the strategic foundation from which the three countries secure their prosperity and safety.

About $2.7-million in trade passes between the United States and its two neighbours each minute. Mexico and Canada are the two largest U.S. export markets, buying a third of all that Americans send abroad. Millions of jobs depend on the trade and investment networks across our region, and the potential for added growth is enormous. A recent study by McKinsey & Co. predicts that if we keep working to improve the competitiveness of our North American market, our economies could add $8-trillion (U.S.) in gross domestic product by 2040.

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How Obamacare killed immigration reform

obamaWashington Post, 2/3/14

Barack Obama has all but conceded his lame-duck status. His State of the Union address was bereft of big ideas. And his declaration that he will use his “pen and a phone” to issue a raft of executive orders is an admission of political impotence — a presidency reduced to small-ball initiatives like creating “myRA” savings accounts and raising the minimum wage for federal contractors.

The one exception — his one last shot at a major legislative achievement — was comprehensive immigration reform. But that isn’t happening either. And the reason can be summed up in one word: Obamacare. “Comprehensive” is Washington-speak for “big.” And in the wake of the Obamacare debacle, no one is interested in anything big from Barack Obama.

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