Tangled U.S.-Mexico ties on display amid spying outrage

Los Angeles Times, 10/24/2013

felipe-calderon2Though individual Mexicans’ opinions about the United States are complicated, many cling to the opinion that the U.S. is a brash cowboy of a country. It is a view, at least as old as the 1846 U.S. invasion of Mexico, that has gained new traction this week after the German magazine Der Spiegel published an article alleging that the U.S. National Security Agency had hacked the email account of former President Felipe Calderon, one of the most pro-U.S. presidents in recent Mexican history.

The U.S. and Mexico are frenemies that can’t help offending – yet still need – each other.

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Academics call for changes in U.S.-Mexico relations

Books by Flikr user Rodrigo GalindezUT San Diego, 4/5/2013

Scholars from Tijuana and San Diego are key contributors to a new book that looks at the changing relationship between the United States and Mexico, examining issues such as immigration, trade, drug trafficking and water resources.

Among the recommendations of “Mexico and the United States: The Politics of Partnership,” are: increasing investment in infrastructure and education; promoting debate about whether to decriminalize marijuana possession; and collaborating on the management of aquifers beneath the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Realizing the Economic Strength of our 21st Century Border Event

ASU North American Center for Transborder Studies

The U.S.-Mexico border region is one of the most important trade corridors for North American businesses, representing a $460 billion economic relationship between the two countries.  The border region represents a critical staging point for U.S. commercial activity with Mexico where approximately 80 percent of U.S. exports pass through or originate in that region.  It is, therefore, the key to unlocking the true potential of the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

As a means of facilitating a dialogue that will feed into on going border governors’, legislators’, mayors’ and commissioners’ policy making processes, the conference will focus on identifying regional solutions to border related challenges and priorities such as: workforce needs and educational development; trade facilitation and supply chain solutions for cross-border trade; border infrastructure needs and regional border planning; public/private partnership opportunities and new innovative technologies; and identifying cross-border economic development and job creation strategies.

The event is scheduled to take place September 23-25, 2012 at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona. The first day will include a welcome reception and networking opportunities, and the second day will feature panels and discussions to identify regional solutions to border related challenges and priorities. The final day will have a mayoral panel on best practices for export promotion.

For more information on the event, click here.

To register to the event, click here.

Editorial: Ideas for strengthening U.S.-Mexico bonds

Scripps Howard News Service, 07/11/2012

Mexico has not been an issue in the U.S. election, but the underlying connections that join the two countries run far deeper than politics: geography, economics, culture and family. Mexico is the second-largest export market for the United States; the United States is Mexico’s largest market. Every day, the two countries trade more than a $1 billion in goods.

Inspired by the timing of political change, the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, a conference organizer in Southern California, and the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank in Washington, D.C., brought together experts from both countries to propose solutions beyond the usual fights over drug-trafficking and illegal immigration.

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Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s new president-elect, moving to reassure Americans

The Washington Post, 07/02/2012

Mexico’s new president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, is a mostly unknown figure in Washington, but he is moving aggressively to assure his northern neighbor that he will fight hard against Mexico’s drug lords and continue to pursue warm relations with its top trading partner.

A top Peña Nieto campaign official, Emilio Lozoya, said in a statement Monday, “Some may wonder what a Peña Nieto presidency will mean. The answer is simple. It will mean a stabilization of the situation in Mexico and advancement on many of the issues Americans care about.”

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Leonardo Curzio: Predictions on Mexican Foreign Policy [In Spanish]

Mexico Institute, 4/11/2012

In this article, Leonardo Curzio, renowned journalist and academic at UNAM, lays out the main topics for the national security agenda of Mexico as well as the issues that the country will have to face in the future.

Curzio predicts that Mexico’s relationship with the United States will continue to be the most important axis point of Mexico’s foreign policy strategy. He explains that bilateral cooperation against terrorism should not be left behind, especially when considering the potential for terrorists to occupy Mexican territory as an operational base from which to inflict an attack upon the United States. Furthermore, Curzio argues, the U.S.-Mexico border represents interests that are vital for both countries, including economic, political, military, and particularly demographic concerns. Accordingly, Curzio states that the U.S.-Mexico border will be the most important topic in the Mexican national security agenda.

In terms of the national security agenda, Curzio also points out the importance of keeping an internal security strategy that can ensure political stability through the following elements: democratic governance, political order in the three levels of government, and development of institutional capacity, particularly for migration authorities and the police.

According to Curzio, Mexico is quite alone with its problems. He argues, however, that Mexico’s relationship with the United States should step out of what the sensationalist press says and instead find a position from which the doors of effective and mutual responsibility can finally open.

To read the full text that appeared on the March 2012 Spanish edition of Foreign Policy, click here.

Op-ed: How Mexico Creates American Jobs

The Wall Street Journal, 3/21/12

Mexico has recently been thought of more as a supplier of drugs than of jobs, but as the United States prepares to receive Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Washington on April 2, it is time to reconsider our southern neighbor.

After all, Mexico and Canada, not China and Great Britain, are the nation’s top export markets, and six million Americans already have jobs that depend on U.S.-Mexico trade.The equation is pretty simple: New exports create new U.S. jobs.

This is why President Obama launched the National Exports Initiative, with the goal of doubling exports by 2015, and this is why it is hard to conceive of a strategy for creating jobs that does not significantly strengthen regional economic cooperation with our two neighboring countries, which together receive a third of all U.S. exports. Mexico alone receives 13% of U.S. exports.

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