Former Mexican President: We’re Not Paying for a ‘Stupid’ Wall

2/09/16 NBC News

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Felipe Calderón

 

A former Mexican president had some tough words when asked about GOP candidate Donald Trump’s much-touted plan to build a border wall that he says will be paid for by Mexico.”We are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it’s going to be completely useless,” said former Mexican president Felipe Calderón when asked about this at the AmCham Egypt for Business Conference on Sunday.

“We are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall! And it’s going to be completely useless,” said former Mexican president Felipe Calderón when asked about this at the AmCham Egypt for Business Conference on Sunday.

Calderón had harsh words about the Republican presidential race during his conversation with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble, saying it was “incredible” that quite an “admirable society” like the U.S. had candidates like Trump.

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The “bridge to nowhere” now connects the United States and Mexico

2/4/2016 Mexico Institute via Forbes.com

By Christopher Wilson and E. Anthony Wayne

On February 4, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and U.S. Secretaries of Homeland Security and Commerce are scheduled to inaugurate the new border crossing just south of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. Once called the “bridge to nowhere” because the U.S. half was completed before the Mexican portion was built, the international bridge and port of entry facilities at Tornillo-Guadalupe will now help manage the massive legal flows of goods and people across our border.  Over $1 million dollars of trade per minute crosses our common border and an estimated 950,000 people legally cross the border each day to study, visit family members, do business and go shopping.

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US-Mexico border: Arizona’s open door

12/17/2015 Financial Times

mexico-usa-flag-montageMany people in the US today look towards the country’s border with Mexico and tremble. So great are the fears about illegal immigration and the possible infiltration of terrorists that Donald Trump has vaulted to the top of the Republican presidential field by vowing to build a wall between the two countries and make the Mexicans pay for it.

So it may come as a surprise to learn about the economic ideas now emerging from Arizona, a solid red state — having voted Republican in 15 of the past 16 presidential elections — that sits cheek by jowl with the Mexican state of Sonora.

Arizonan movers and shakers have started to think that bringing in more Mexicans is a good way to stimulate growth. To make people from south of the border feel more welcome, county planning organisations, municipal officials and business leaders are lining up behind a proposal to transform their entire state into a “free-travel zone” for millions of better-off Mexicans with the money and wherewithal to qualify for a travel document that is widely used in the south-west, but little known elsewhere — a border-crossing card, or BCC.

 

 

New Publication: Lessons from the Development of Binational and Civil Society Cooperation on Water Management at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Anatomy of a RelationshipBy Carlos de la Parra and Carlos Heredia

Mexico and the United States are partners in a number of agreements that imply joint management of natural resources and have had a long and productive history of sharing water resources. The two countries share water resources in the Colorado and Tijuana river basins, and in the Rio Grande basin; the joint utilization of their waters is defined by the Treaty of February 3, 1944 and its Minutes.

The authors argue that -since ecosystems do not respect national boundaries- binational cooperation on cross-border environmental issues is a must. Environmental issues must be seen as an integral part of border affairs and border management. Economic, security and environmental issues are all interrelated and must be addressed as such. Further, the authors believe that civil society activism and inter-governmental cooperation have played mutually reinforcing roles in improving the way that the two countries manage natural resources and moving towards a truly regional approach in a binational context.

The essay analyzes binational and civil society cooperation on cross-border environmental issues, with a special focus on water management. The piece looks at binational water management from a holistic perspective, arguing that the growing involvement of civil society has improved policy outcomes.

The above text is an excerpt from the introduction to the essay. This essay is part five of our seriesThe Anatomy of a Relationship: A Collection of Essays on the Evolution of U.S.-Mexico Cooperation on Border Management.” We are releasing the essays individually throughout 2015 and will publish them together in early 2016. 

Read the essay here.

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.