"The state of Mexico's economy is important for U.S. policymakers for many reasons, most significantly because a prosperous and democratic neighboring country is in the best interest of the United States. The two countries have strong economic, political, and social ties, which have direct policy implications related to bilateral trade, economic competitiveness, migration, and border security. In May 2010, President Barack Obama hosted Mexican President Felipe Calderón at a meeting in the White House in which the two leaders discussed key issues affecting the two countries. They agreed to continue and reinforce cooperation on creating jobs, promoting economic recovery and expansion, and encouraging inclusive prosperity across all levels of society in both countries. The 111th Congress is likely to maintain an active interest in Mexico on issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other trade issues, economic conditions in Mexico, migration, border security issues, and counter-narcotics. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 and the U.S. economic downturn had strong adverse effects on the Mexican economy, largely due to its economic ties and dependence on the U.S. market. Mexico's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 6.6% in 2009, the sharpest decline of any Latin American economy. Mexico's reliance on the United States as an export market and the relative importance of exports to its overall economic performance make it highly susceptible to fluctuations in the U.S. economy. Most other Latin American countries are not as dependent on the United States as an export market. Economic reforms over the past 20 years and the government's responses to the effects of the global financial crisis have helped Mexico weather the economic downturn and improve conditions in 2010. However, sustained economic recovery will likely depend on the U.S. economic recovery and the ability to sustain this growth."
CRS Report for Congress, R41402