Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress [April 14, 2009]   [open pdf - 620KB]

"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). Since 1994, trade between the countries has more than quadrupled. Bilateral relations are close, and characterized by extensive commercial and cultural ties and cooperation on a range of bilateral and international issues. A current trade dispute with the United States involves the implementation of NAFTA trucking provisions. In March 2009, Congress terminated a pilot-project for Mexican-registered trucks to operate beyond the 25-mile border commercial zone with the United States, and Mexico responded by imposing import tariffs on over 90 U.S. agricultural and industrial products. Drug trafficking issues are prominent in relations since Mexico is the leading transit country for cocaine, a leading supplier of methamphetamine and heroin, and the leading foreign supplier of marijuana. Shortly after taking office in December 2006, President Felipe Calderón launched operations against Mexican drug trafficking organizations. […]. U.S.-Mexican cooperation on drug trafficking has intensified over the past several years, and both countries announced the Mérida Initiative in October 2007 to combat drug trafficking, gangs, and organized crime in Mexico and Central America. […]. The 111th Congress is maintaining an active interest in Mexico with myriad counternarcotics, border, and trade issues dominating the agenda. To date, there have already been a dozen hearings dealing with the increased violence in Mexico as well as U.S. foreign assistance and border security efforts. Comprehensive immigration reform efforts once again could be considered in the 111th Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32724
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