The North American Free Trade Agreement has been a great economic boon for both the United States and Mexico. Since its inception, U.S.-Mexico trade has nearly quintupled. Building on this success, the United States and Mexico actively pursue increased economic cooperation and market integration.
As U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camunez said, “Countries around the world are looking for anything that will give them a competitive edge. That’s why it’s critical that the United States and Mexico take full advantage of the edge we already have: our shared border and our shared values and priorities.”
To maintain this competitive edge, the United States and Mexico are addressing several areas of economic cooperation and market integration to increase cross-border trade, improve competitiveness, and ensure prosperity.
One of the significant issues companies face at the U.S.-Mexico border is the need for improved infrastructure and clearance procedures. Because U.S. and Mexico supply chains are interconnected and 85 percent of the trade between the United States and Mexico crosses the border by truck, it is critical to expand and improve existing ports of entry and build new ones to increase efficiency and minimize costly delays.
Under the Joint Declaration on 21st Century Border Management signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, both countries committed to making the shared border as efficient at expediting the flow of legitimate trade and travel as it is at preventing illicit traffic. In the past two years, three new border crossings have been opened to help facilitate this: two multi-lane bridges in Texas and a commercial goods crossing in Arizona.
The United States and Mexico are also jointly addressing unnecessary differences in product regulations, which can be a burden on business and ultimately undermine cross border trade. To avoid this, the United States and Mexico launched the High Level Regulatory Cooperation Council, which works to enhance economic competitiveness and economic well-being by improving regulatory cooperation.
Through continued partnership on vital economic issues, the United States and Mexico can take full advantage of the opportunities they have enjoyed in past decades and maximize the benefits of a shared border, shared values, and shared priorities.