// Posted by Sam 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… Read more
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?