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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

North America Must Compete Globally

6/28/2016 Forbes

By Earl Anthony Wayne and Gary Hufbauer

NAFTAContrary to campaign rhetoric, the integration of North America over the past quarter century has successfully grown the continental economy and enabled it to compete in global markets. And, in North America this has been done without the centralized institutions that UK voters just rejected. The June 29 North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa offers an opportunity to launch even smarter collaboration across Canada, Mexico, and the United States that respects the sovereignty of each partner. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Enrique Peña Nieto can approve a range of actions to make the North American economy more competitive and productive in the years ahead.

North American trade networks and continental investment ties have generated millions of jobs. North America is the best performing continent among advanced countries. But it still needs to create more and better jobs. Economic growth is too slow and productivity is far below par. An ambitious work agenda coming from the Leaders’ Summit can help boost the three economies.

Read more…

Upcoming Event | Ideas for a Stronger North America ahead of the North American Leaders Summit

North AmericaWHEN: Tuesday, June 28, 9:00-11:00 AM

WHERE: 6th Floor Board Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click to RSVP

On June 29, President Obama, President Peña Nieto, and Prime Minister Trudeau will meet in Ottawa for the 2016 North American Leaders Summit (NALS). North America is already the largest trading bloc in the world, with a GDP of over 20 trillion dollars and more than a trillion dollars of annual trade. The Leaders Summit will set the stage for future North American cooperation across a wide range of areas, including economic competitiveness, regional security, energy and climate change. It also represents an important opportunity for the leaders to clearly articulate the benefits of enhanced regional cooperation to a public that is increasingly focused on understanding the benefits and costs of global engagement.

The Mexico and Canada Institutes of the Woodrow Wilson Center are pleased to invite you to a discussion on North American cooperation ahead of the North American Leaders Summit.

Click to RSVP

Building Borders That Foster Security And Prosperity In North America

5/24/2016 Forbes

san-ysidro-border-crossing-by-flickr-user-otzbergBy Earl Anthony Wayne and Christopher Wilson

Canada, Mexico and the United States are collaborating to enhance security and foster prosperity at North America’s borders, while respecting each nation’s sovereignty.  Prime Minister Trudeau, President Peña Nieto and President Obama can give this effort a big boost when they meet for the North American Leaders Summit (NALS) on June 29 in Canada.  Given the contentious nature of the public and political debates about border security right now, it will be especially important for the leaders to articulate clearly what it means to build twenty-first century borders that are smart, effective, and meet both the security and competitiveness needs of North America. They should also bless a strong, substantive work agenda to make those objectives reality.

The three countries trade some $3.6 billion in goods and services each day.  Over a million citizens of the three nations cross the borders as part of their daily routine.  Border management tasks are enormous.  But, officials, the private sector and the many states, provinces and cities that benefit from border trade and travel see the tremendous value of a North America in which borders are places of connection and cooperation at least as much as division.  Around our borders, the three governments fight illicit activity; help our economies by facilitating legal trade and transit; and work to protect all three societies from threats ranging from terrorism to invasive species and diseases.

Read more…

EVENT TOMORROW | Power Play: Energy & Manufacturing in North America

power playWHEN: Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 10, 9:00-10:30am

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, Canada Institute, and the International Monetary Fund are pleased to invite you to our launch of the book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America.” Despite the recent fall in energy prices, fuller development of energy resources in North America has potentially important implications for global energy markets and the competitiveness of North American manufacturing industries. The book “Power Play: Energy and Manufacturing in North America” describes the transformation of the energy landscape in North America due to the upsurge in unconventional energy production since the mid-2000s and tells the story of the energy-manufacturing nexus from the perspective of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and the region as a whole. Based on the research done at the International Monetary Fund, the book discusses the energy boom and its macroeconomic implications for the three countries individually and for the region overall, exploring also how the changing energy landscape can affect the potential benefits of greater integration across the three North American economies.

Keynote Speaker

Alejandro Werner
Director, Western Hemisphere Department
International Monetary Fund

Additional Speakers

Lusine Lusinyan
Senior Economist
International Monetary Fund

Carlos Hurtado
Alternate Executive Director for Mexico
International Monetary Fund

Jim Prentice
Global Fellow, Canada Institute, Wilson Center
Former Premier of Alberta
Former Minister of the Environment, Canada

Meg Lundsager
Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center
Former U.S. Executive Director and Alternate Executive Director, International Monetary Fund


Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click to RSVP.


Op-Ed | Getting North America Right

5/9/2016 Mexico Institute blog,

By Earl Anthony Wayne, Public Policy Fellow, Wilson Center

nafta (2)When the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States meet on June 29 for a North American Leaders Summit (NALS), they will have two big tasks: 1) to explain clearly why cooperation between the three countries is of great value; and 2) to give clear directions to their officials to do the hard technical work so that cooperation produces solid results for economic growth and competitiveness, for mutual security, for the shared continental environment, and for international cooperation where we can do more together than individually.

Since Mexico hosted the last so-called “Three Amigos” Summit in 2014, the tone in the U.S. domestic political debate has turned very critical of cooperation across the continent, whereas the actual collaboration and mutual understanding between the governments has improved.  The potential to help make all three countries more competitive in the world and to become a model for regional cooperation has increased, even as the electoral campaign attacks on the relationship with the United States’ two top export markets sharpened starkly.

Read more…