United States and Mexico: Ties That Bind, Issues That Divide

United States and Mexico: Ties That Bind, Issues That Divide

United States and Mexico: Ties That Bind, Issues That Divide

United States and Mexico: Ties That Bind, Issues That Divide

Excerpt

Despite geographical closeness and many shared economic interests, wariness has characterized relations between the United States and Mexico during the past few decades. Policies designed to curtail the number of Mexican immigrants entering the United States, a 700-milelong border fence between the two countries, and an increasing illegal drug trade have somewhat eclipsed the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA’s) cooperative scope. However, to ensure that the economic and political interaction between the two countries is as mutually beneficial as it is sustainable, it is critical that Mexico and the United States reiterate their commitment to their important relationship. This monograph focuses on how the alliance between the United States and Mexico can be made stronger.

We undertook answering this question by drawing on the perspectives of both countries. This multidisciplinary, binational approach combines economics, demography, and sociology, as well as discussions with U.S. and Mexican policymakers and reviews of published work and of survey results, in order to present a comprehensive analysis of issues that concern each country. The first part of the monograph is a detailed discussion of the issues surrounding migration from Mexico from a U.S. perspective. The second part of the monograph presents the economic and social challenges faced by Mexico. The third part reframes questions of immigration and trade pertinent to both countries by examining the results of opinion polls and trade policy. The final part presents our conclusions and recommendations.

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