Investment and Crime

// Posted by on 04/01/2013 (12:20 AM)

A recent Financial Times article struck a chord with me as it discussed and dissected some recent conversations about United States-Mexico relations. This article, entitled “Mexico-US: let’s talk about trade,” begins by informing readers that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s phone call with United States President Barack Obama Enrique Peña Nieto served as a confirmation call for Obama’s early May visit to Mexico.”The forthcoming trip, which Mexico’s foreign ministry has described as a working visit to cover everything from trade and competitiveness to security and education, is a big deal for both presidents, but in particular for Peña Nieto.”

The main goal of the trip, according to the piece, is for Pena Nieto “to shift the discourse on the relationship between the two countries away from drug violence – and towards trade.” Drug violence has been a crux of the United States-Mexico international relationship for the past decade; the drug war has caused spikes in violence all along the almost 2,000 mile land border between the two countries. This specific article estimates over 70,000 deaths due to drug violence along the border within the past six years. Rightfully so, American lawmakers have shared their concern that drug violence along the border is prone to “spill over” into border states such as California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. That being said, Pena Nieto has made clear that his intent in meeting with Obama is to “reset” relations between the countries and refocus efforts on promoting trade and economic development. In fact, in his 2012 Washington Post Editorial Pena Nieto asserts that “To build a more prosperous future for our two countries, we must continue strengthening and expanding our deep economic, social and cultural ties. It is a mistake to limit our bilateral relationship to drugs and security concerns. Our mutual interests are too vast and complex to be restricted in this short-sighted way. When I meet with President Obama on Tuesday — just days before my inauguration — I want to discuss the best way to rearrange our common priorities. After all, our agenda affects millions of citizens in both countries. Perhaps the most important issue is finding new ways to bolster our economic and trade relationship to attain common prosperity in our nations.”

The editorial goes on to deliver some facts that many Americans may not be aware of:

1. The United States is Mexico’s largest trading partner, largely in thanks to NAFTA

2. Mexico is the second-largest supplier of electronic goods to the United States.

3. Mexico is home to more and more production facilities, among them Coca-Cola, DuPont, GM, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, and Audi.

4. Mexico holds the fifth-largest shale gas reserve in the world, in addition to large deep-water oil reserves and a tremendous potential in renewable energy.

5.More than 1 million U.S. citizens live in Mexico

Enriqe Pena Nieto makes a comprehensive and sound argument for greater cooperation between the United States and Mexico not only in the immigration reform efforts but more importantly in the economic arena. In that light, what can either country do to further improve what is already taking shape as a stronger economic relationship? Is drug violence a more or less pressing issue than it is said to be by Pena Nieto? By Obama? What should really take precedence?



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Tec de Monterrey said...

Hello Sam:

I think that trade relations between Mexico and the U.S. are important in any area. Although there are relevant issues to trade, they should not stop trade relations, but should continue to improve.

However, the question here is not about simple relevant issues, it’s about unresolved historical problems and repetitive behaviors in both countries. These two represent the center of the current situation.

The historical problems are in the areas that you mention. I think that there are three important. The first is the violence and insecurity in the country. We must remember that this is not new. Mexico is the intermediary between North and South. This also became to Mexico in the drug intermediary, so this insecurity is not a coincidence, because the country hosts the great leaders of gangs of drugs.

Secondly, NAFTA, since its foundation, has allowed the inclusion of Mexico in globalization. However, the level of progress of international companies in Mexico is not higher than the U.S. is, who has virtually americanized to Mexico. This is an imbalance that exists at this point.

The third is the situation of immigrants. The efforts not only are for nationalizing Mexican families, but also against of racism. These are issues that are still on the political problems on both countries.

However, as I said, is a behavioral problem also. United States has continued its practice of arms sales to Mexico even if there are disastrous consequences; NAFTA continue giving to U.S. large areas of opportunity in Mexico; and states are proposing racist laws for immigrants.

In other hand, Mexico makes wars with poor results; formalizes hundreds of agreements in trade relations without good use, and does not provide better quality of life for Mexicans.

Answering your question, the problem is not what is the most important aspect of trade relations. The important point is how to end with the historical problems and behaviors that overshadow these relations.


// 04/09/2013 at 10:16 pm

Tec de Monterrey said...

Hi Sam,
I think the article you are talking about is pretty interesting, because most mexican people is not informed about how the bilateral relation will be in this new government, and I think that in all areas the bilateral relationships between Mexico and the United States is importat. However, the national interest in Mexico right now should be the economy and security, but I think mainly the security, since this is the reason why our country is stagnating, and also linked with other social problems.
The security of our country is also linked to the United States involvement in arms traffic, then I find it illogical how the United States condemns our drug war and our insecurity, being the arms traffic also a trigger. Both presidents are being diverted on the current main concern.
Our relationship Mexico – United States, as being neighbors and trading partners should be strengthened through national legislations in both countries to help each other, I do not mean that leave aside their national interests to help the other, but what happens to a country affects the other one.
Sam I believe that Mexico´s economic relationship with the United States has worked in some ways, as you mentioned before we are really good economic partners , and mostly for the NAFTA, but as I mentioned, there are areas that need to be reinforced.
I think many Mexicans have the same idea about this, many of us have wondered, why do we want to reinforce the international economy , when our domestic economy can not progress due to insecurity. The domestic economy in Mexico is related to the small and medium entrerprises that we call PYMES, these enterprises were direclty affected when the drug war begun, and the main reason was because they were being asked for quotas in exchange of security from the drug dealers.
So if you me what is the main arena Mexico and the U.S should work on and cooperate, I would say on security.

Monica Mendoza 809086 ITESM

// 04/10/2013 at 12:29 am

Sam said...


Your point is very well received, and has certainly been brought up before. It takes domestic strength to reinforce international relations. You say that as Mexicans, “many of us have wondered, why do we want to reinforce the international economy , when our domestic economy can not progress due to insecurity.” If I had a dollar of every time I have heard a US lawmaker refer to a quote similar to this one, I’d be rich. It strikes me that Mexican lawmakers and citizens and US lawmakers and citizens coincide in ideology to such an extent. That being said, most of the US lawmakers that think that way tend to be more conservative rather than liberal. Being that I have conservative tendencies, I agree that we should address our domestic insecurities before we directly confront international matters. Is your political system as polarized and ideologically separated as ours?

// 04/10/2013 at 1:22 pm