New Report: "Realizing the Strategic National Value of our Trade, Tourism and Ports of Entry with Mexico"

President Obama’s recent trip to Mexico emphasized the growing economic relationship between our two countries. In this spirit NDN and NPI's 21st Century Border Initiative is proud to release a new report, "Realizing the Strategic National Value of our Trade, Tourism and Ports of Entry with Mexico." This new report will build on two previous papers produced with NPI by ASU's Erik Lee, "Realizing the Value of Crossborder Trade With Mexico" and "Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to The United States."

As the report states: “Trade between Mexico and the United States is among one of the great untold success stories of the last four years. Key policies and investment in infrastructure can either help or hinder the enormous economic exchange between our countries. The current negotiations in Congress on comprehensive immigration reform offer a key window of opportunity to expand our ability to facilitate legitimate trade and tourism with Mexico and grow our economy in the process.” Below please find some key statistics featured in the report:

  • Six million U.S. jobs depend on our trade with Mexico. Trade relationship is critically important to our economic activity.  Bilateral trade is estimated to have reached $535.9 billion in 2012, nearly double the amount of trade since the President took office.
  • Mexico is on the rise, economic growth integral to Americas Economy. Mexico has a $1.76 trillion dollar economy, the twelfth largest in the world (measured by GDP purchasing power parity)
  • Investment in Infrastructure is Key.  Twenty-three states have Mexico as their number one or number two trading partner, multiplying jobs in both countries. Forty-seven U.S.-Mexico land ports of entry facilitate several hundreds of billions dollars in U.S.-Mexico trade every year

At an event announcing the report’s release NDN President Simon Rosenberg stated: "Our report shines a light on one of the most important economic stories of the last decade, one more American policy makers need to pay attention to - the rise of the Mexican economy, and the exploding trade relationship between Mexico and the United States.  Our report finds that trade between the US and Mexico was a staggering $536 billion last year up from $300 billion just 4 years ago.  These extraordinary results, validating the hemispheric ambition of NAFTA, have turned the US-Mexican economic relationship into one of the largest, and most important, in the world today."

Congressman Filemon Vela, (TX-34) said:  "The State of Texas has a 1,254-mile long border with Mexico. Texas’ multiple border crossings makes it the largest port-of-entry for goods traveling from Mexico into the United States as well as goods heading south from the US into Mexican markets. The Estimated Value if this trade for Texas is $285 Million,  which creates 3,037 jobs in Texas,  45% of imported produce comes through Texas and over last 15 years, imports have tripled in volume with 100K of the 160K loads of fresh and frozen produce that came through a single bridge in Hidalgo County I represent but not in my district. Trade with Mexico is critically important to both the United States and Texas. We hope to see it continue to increase in the future."

Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor of Tucson, AZ said: "As the Mayor of a city impacted by the state of Mexican-American relations, I have gone to great lengths to lay out a vision for an ever more productive and cooperative relationship with our neighbors to the South.  Truly, our relationship with Mexico is a symbiotic relationship with the potential to yield vast dividends, both financially and culturally.  Trade with Mexico generates jobs for Tucson in exports, logistics, supply chain management, tourism, scientific, technical and professional expertise- but in order for Tucson to be a hub for international trade, we need the right infrastructure at the border.  Throughout our nation's history, we have always thrived when engendering the best ideals of a diverse and complex country. In 2013, with new and emerging demographics, this ethic has never been more important."

Erik Lee, associate Director at Arizona State University’s North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS) and writer of this report noted: "US-Mexico bilateral trade hit $535.9 billion in 2012 and is an economic force that all of us need to appreciate and understand better. President Obama’s extensive references to this enormous economic relationship last week essentially confirmed what we have known for years: the U.S.-Mexico relationship is essentially a commercial relationship, rather a security-based relationship.. We have a window of opportunity to increase this economic bonanza that includes key legislation (including immigration reform), new trade agreements and important pending infrastructure investments to facilitate trade and tourism. If we can get this done, we can set the stage for tremendous future shared prosperity."

For background on the event be sure to read Simon’s recent Huffington Post Op-ed, “The Border is Safer, Our Immigration System is Better;” Kristian's recent NBC Latino Op-Ed "Want to make the border safer? Pass common sense gun violence legislation;" see our round-up of our most important work on these issues; read some of our key reports, "Realizing the Value of Crossborder Trade With Mexico" and "Realizing the Full Value of Tourism from Mexico to The United States." Also, stay in touch with us via our website