"The United States and Mexico share a common history shaped by military incursions during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The bond between the American and Mexican people, however, has continued to grow closer over time despite occasional negative rhetoric from politicians in Washington, DC, and Mexico City. At local and state levels, relations solidified through the closely knit fabric of our border towns, intermarriage between families on each side of the border, and the development of infrastructure (to include water, wastewater, and gas and electricity utilities) that serves communities to the north and south. At the national level, our relationship became closer due to economic growth resulting from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which now accounts for almost $1 billion (U.S. dollars) in trade per day between the two countries. The events of 9/11 helped political leaders realize that an attack on one NAFTA partner could have significant impact upon all trading partners. Trade decreased among all three NAFTA nations due to security concerns, which brought together our elected officials to discuss areas of mutual concern in defense and security. Mexican military support in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina helped build a new sense of trust and friendship between our people; similarly, the Merida Initiative is assisting our neighbor in defeating the drug threat, and has further helped to build trust between our countries."
Strategic Forum (February 2010), no.254
National Defense University. Institute for National Strategic Studies: http://www.ndu.edu/inss/