The economies of the United States and Mexico have become inextricably linked. For both countries, the other is their top trading partner, with an annual value of $616.38 billion in 2019. Beyond cross-border trade, however, our global competitiveness is linked due to the depth of manufacturing integration. As a result, job creation and export growth are largely regional enterprises. Well over a billion dollars in commerce crosses the border each day, and the GDP of the six Mexican and four U.S. border states is larger than the GDP of all but the three largest countries in the world.
The new USMCA is the essential instrument for bilateral cooperation on economic issues, but alone it is not a viable strategy for domestic economic growth. For both López Obrador and Biden, achieving job creation and growth requires an approach that embraces the complementarities of our economies and works toward building a 21st Century economy that works for everyone in each nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many companies to reevaluate their global production networks and prioritize supply chain security and resilience. Reshoring has tremendous potential to benefit both countries. Rather than relocating jobs from one country to the other, research shows that companies tend to create jobs on both sides of the border as they expand their investment in the regional economy. In the United States, some five million jobs depend on trade with Mexico, and a similarly large number of jobs in Mexico depend on trade with the United States. To expand the percentage of global GDP generated in our region and to further related job creation and capitalize on new opportunities, leaders must address issues surrounding coordination in essential industries, labor law reforms, and a lack of both high-level dialogue and clear mechanisms for local involvement in the binational economic relationship.
The U.S.-Mexico Forum 2025, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, U.C. San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, 2021.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Santos, Alvaro and Wilson, Christopher, "Trade, Economy, and Work: A Shared Agenda for a Stronger Economic Future" (2021). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2378.