"The United States and Mexico have a close and complex bilateral relationship as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Although security issues have recently dominated the U.S. relationship with Mexico, analysts predict that bilateral relations may shift toward economic matters once President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto takes office. Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) defeated leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Josefina Vázquez Mota of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) in Mexico's July 1, 2012, presidential election. As a result, the PRI, which controlled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, will retake the presidency on December 1, 2012. Some analysts have raised concerns regarding the PRI's corrupt past and impending return to power, but President-elect Peña Nieto has pledged to govern democratically and to forge cross-party alliances. The outgoing PAN government of Felipe Calderón has pursued an aggressive anticrime strategy and increased security cooperation with the United States. These efforts have helped Mexico arrest or kill record numbers of drug kingpins, but more than 55,000 people have died as a result of organized crime-related violence since December 2006. Mexico's ongoing security challenges have overshadowed some of the Calderón government's achievements, including its successful economic stewardship during the global financial crisis and expansion of healthcare coverage."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32724