Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress [March 17, 2010]   [open pdf - 532KB]

"The United States and Mexico have a close and complex bilateral relationship, with extensive economic linkages as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Bilateral relations are characterized by strong commercial and cultural ties and cooperation on a range of bilateral and international issues. In recent years, security issues have dominated the bilateral agenda, as the United States has supported Mexican President Felipe Calderón's campaign against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and organized crime. In the second half of his six-year term, President Calderón of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) is focused on dealing with two major challenges: restarting the Mexican economy, which contracted by 7% in 2009 (largely as a result of the U.S. recession), and combating DTOs. In addition, Calderón submitted a wide-ranging political reform proposal to the Mexican Congress in December 2009, which, if enacted, would introduce run-off presidential elections, permit legislators to run for re-election, and reduce the size of the Congress. As the 2012 presidential elections approach, the Congress, which is now dominated by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), could be reluctant to give President Calderón any major legislative victories or to take up difficult issues such as reforming the declining oil sector."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32724
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