Economy and Trade

Strengthening U.S.-Mexican Economic Ties: Striving Towards a 21st Century Border

by Editors

U.S.-Mexico border regulation and reform implementation prompt an important discussion regarding not only security and efficiency, but also the growing binational economic relationships affected.

The State of the Border Report: A Comprehensive Analysis of the U.S.-Mexico Border

This Mexico Institute report provides a clear, overarching assessment of the nature of the U.S.-Mexico Border and concludes that an institutional void prevents efficient border management.  Wilson and Lee characterize the region as an amalgam of both countries, one rich in culture, fertile with business opportunities, and politically contentious in the U.S. and in Mexico. The economic and political importance of the border to the United States and Mexico demands that both states ensure a traveler and commerce-friendly area, while simultaneously limiting illegal activity. The report analyzes both qualitative and quantitative data in chapters on quality of life, sustainability, security and trade. It also evaluates current policies, such as trusted traveler programs, customs pre-clearance, and the recently enacted Colorado River Agreement, to determine their viability in building a 21st century border.

Este reporte del Instituto de México provee un análisis claro y comprensivo de la naturaleza de la frontera México-Estados Unidos, y concluye que una falta de institucionalización es lo que impide la eficiente administración de la frontera. Wilson y Lee caracterizan la frontera como una amalgama de ambos países – rica en cultura y fértil en oportunidades de negocios – y un tema políticamente contencioso en Estados Unidos y México. La importancia política y económica de la frontera tanto para México como para Estados Unidos demanda que ambos estados aseguren una zona accesible para viajeros y para el comercio, mientras intentan limitar las actividades ilegal en dicha región. El reporte analiza data tanto cualitativa como cuantitativa en temas de calidad de vida, sustentabilidad, seguridad y comercio. También evalúa políticas actuales, como programas de viajero seguro, la previa aprobación de aduanas, y el reciente firmado Acuerdo del Río Colorado, para determinar la viabilidad de construir una frontera del siglo XXI.

To read Christopher Wilson and Eric Lee’s study, please click the following link: The State of the Border Report: A Comprehensive Analysis of the U.S.-Mexico Border



Steps to a 21st Century U.S.-Mexico Border

Motivated by the border inefficiencies and delays that are undermining North American competitiveness, this is a joint report of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico. Based on a survey of the common experiences and practical policy priorities of the business community using the U.S.-Mexico border on a daily basis, the report identifies four core reforms essential to creating a secure and efficient border: investment in border security and the Merida Initiative, engagement of the private sector to improve supply chain security, infrastructure investment, and the pursuit of meaningful immigration reform to successfully enhance growth and security simultaneously.

Motivado por las ineficiencias y retrasos que están socavando la competitividad de la frontera, este es un reporte conjunto de la Cámara de Comercio de los Estados Unidos y la Cámara de Comercio Americana en México. Basado en encuestas de las experiencias en común y las políticas prácticas prioritarias de la comunidad de negocios que usan la frontera México-Estados Unidos diariamente, el reporte identifica cuatro reformas esenciales para crear una frontera segura y eficiente: inversión en la seguridad fronteriza y la Iniciativa Mérida; participación del sector privado para mejorar la seguridad de las cadenas de oferta; inversión en infraestructura; y la persecución de una reforma migratoria comprensiva para mejorar exitosamente el crecimiento y la seguridad de forma simultánea.

Please click on the following link to read Steps to a 21st Century U.S.-Mexico Border, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report. 



The U.S.-Mexico Network’s Imagining 2024 project is designed to provide readers a quick overview of key issues in US-Mexico relations – the background of the issue, its current state, where we ought to be by 2024, and how to get there.


Each short essay is coupled with suggested background readings for those interested in a more detailed understanding of the issue at hand.  And as an electronic publication, both the essays and their associated resource pages are updated as needed to keep the information and analysis fresh.

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