New Publication | Building on Early Success: Next Steps in U.S.-Mexico Educational Cooperation

By Angela Robertson and Duncan Wood

USA and MexicoLaunched in 2014, the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research (FOBESII) seeks to “expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help both countries develop a 21st century workforce for both our mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development.” It aims to promote binational cooperation in higher education and research, especially regarding important areas for innovation in the United States and Mexico, by promoting programs for student mobility, academic exchange, research, and innovation in areas of common interest to contribute to the competitiveness of the region.

Cultural and educational exchanges help to create connections between the people and institutions of the United States and Mexico via exchange programs, scholarships, grants, and joint research.  Increasing educational exchanges and strengthening workforce development and innovation, particularly in STEM areas, will allow the United States and Mexico, and North America as a whole, to compete in global markets. Thus, FOBESII has the potential to build a more prosperous future for both the United States and Mexico.

Nonetheless, this short paper argues that, while FOBESII has done much to expand educational exchanges, increase joint research, and promote innovation, it has yet to achieve its stated goals and continues to face serious challenges. We argue that to overcome these challenges, future initiatives must focus on advancing private sector engagement, workforce development, and improving public communication and outreach. FOBESII continues to be a relevant and important initiative, but it is in urgent need of restructuring and redirection if it is to make a significant contribution to bilateral affairs and regional competitiveness.

Read the paper…

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As NAFTA Talks Restart, Canada and Mexico are Unfazed by Trump’s Threats

8/31/2017 Foreign Policy

The second round of talks for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement is set to start Friday in Mexico. Since the conclusion of the first round, U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the trade agreement. How, then, are U.S. neighbors dealing with the impending round two?

Just fine.

For one thing, while public opinion in the United States toward NAFTA is split, Canadians and Mexicans are in general agreement that the deal is good for their countries.

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[VIDEO] Renegotiating NAFTA Round Two

After what has been described as a tough round one in Washington, the process of renegotiating NAFTA is set to move to Mexico for round two. Beyond the negotiating table, President Trump continues to suggest that he may choose to withdraw from the agreement all together. Mexico Institute Director Duncan Wood summarizes the state of the negotiations and provides analysis on what we can expect next. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Guest

Duncan Wood, Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, is a “North American citizen,” lecturing and publishing widely in the United States, Mexico and Canada on intracontinental issues and relations, with a primary focus on U.S.-Mexican ties. A widely-quoted authority on energy policy, international banking regulation and corruption, he works closely with the World Economic Forum and leverages decades of experience at Mexico’s leading universities and newspapers.

Host
John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.

The Sprint to Revise NAFTA Has Millions of Jobs on the Line

8/21/2017 The Hill

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

Modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is beginning with a “sprint.” The three governments have agreed to an accelerated set of negotiating rounds to see if they can forge an updated arrangement for trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States by early 2018. It will be a tough dash, with immensely important stakes.

The early “sprint” is because Mexico’s July 2018 presidential and congressional elections close the political window for approval of an agreement in Mexico by early 2018. Delay will prolong the uncertainty, including on what positions a new Mexican team might take. If the “sprint” does not work, the negotiations will shift to a jog, until after a new Mexican president enters office in December 2018.

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UPCOMING EVENT | Mexico and the NAFTA Negotiations

WHEN: Tuesday, August 15, 9:00-11:00 AM

WHERE: Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

Negotiators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada are set to begin an intense effort to modernize the NAFTA agreement on August 16, 2017. Please join us on August 15th, the eve of the opening round, for a discussion of Mexico’s approach to the negotiations.

The United States Trade Representative recently announced the U.S. objectives for a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a step that was required by U.S. trade law. Many of the stated goals will be shared by Mexico and Canada, but others will be controversial.

Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo, recently announced that Mexico will not make a similar official statement of objectives, but top officials have been clear that they will seek to expand, rather than restrict trade within North America. To better understand Mexico’s goals and strategy as the negotiations begin, we have invited three of Mexico’s top trade experts, including two former officials and the current head of Mexico’s NAFTA office in Washington, DC. We hope you can join us for what promises to be an interesting and important conversation.

Introduction
Duncan Wood, Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Speakers
Kenneth Smith, Director of the Trade and NAFTA Office, Embassy of Mexico, Washington, DC

Francisco de Rosenzweig, Partner, White & Case LLP; Former Undersecretary for Foreign Trade, Ministry of the Economy, Mexico

Luz Maria de la Mora, Director, LMM Consulting; Former Unit Chief for Economic Relations and International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico

Click to RSVP

Mexico & the United States: Let’s Build Prosperity & Security

By Earl Anthony Wayne and Sergio M. Alcocer

12642332434_f5a427c4ea_zPresident Obama will receive Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto July 22 in Washington.  This is a critical opportunity to highlight the importance of U.S.-Mexico ties, to underscore the substantial progress in cooperation, and to accentuate how the campaign rhetoric in the United States is out of tune with the reality of relations.  With the U.S. election approaching, it is crucial to take steps to preserve the unprecedented U.S.-Mexico collaboration that exists today.

U.S.-Mexico relations touch the daily lives of more citizens of both countries than do ties with any other country in the world.  Over 30 million U.S. citizens of Mexican heritage, our interconnected economies, the 1,990-mile border and our shared environment link us uniquely.  The two governments have established a comprehensive network of mechanisms that put bilateral relations in the best place they have been in memory.  Officials work together to take advantage of mutual opportunities and to solve shared problems across a wide spectrum of issues, with input from “stakeholders” in the relationship.

There is still a lot of serious work to do to address the problems out there and to take advantage of the opportunities of the region.   Each government has experienced professional ambassadors and teams in place to help guide the work during the U.S. leadership transition.  But, simplistic explanations of the problems or solutions distract us from the good work underway and the hard work still needed to deal with the serious challenges ahead.  As the United States prepares for a presidential transition, the two countries should solidify the mechanisms and engagements that are doing the hard, policy and technical work of enhancing both of our nations’ economic and national security.  These include the High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), the 21st Century Border process, the bilateral Security Coordination Group, and the Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (FOBESSII).  The U.S.-Mexico relationship is too important for both countries not to continue this work.

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North America’s Anti-Brexit Moment

6/28/2016 Bloomberg View

This week’s meeting among the leaders of the U.S., Mexico and Canada might have been a mostly forgettable formality — had British voters not just decided to leave the European Union. Add in Donald Trump’s shrill threats to tear up trade agreements and build walls, and presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau face a need to reaffirm, and strengthen, their own growing ties.

Luckily, these leaders have a pretty good story to tell. Canada, Mexico and the U.S. are one another’s most important trading partners. The U.S. exports more than four times as much to Mexico and Canada as it does to China, and more than twice as much as to the EU. Well-developed supply chains mean that more than 40 percent of the value of U.S. imports from Mexico, and 25 percent of those from Canada, originates in the U.S., compared with 2 to 5 percent for the EU, China, India and South Korea. Since 1993, North American trade has more than tripled, and cross-border investment has quintupled.

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