Cross-Border Economies: A Blueprint for North American Competitiveness   [open pdf - 389KB]

"The future emerges from the efforts we undertake today. What we do today, however, more frequently than not stems from an interpretation, right or wrong, of how things occurred in the past and the presumption that the future will be like it. Often this lens renders tomorrow, when it comes around, significantly surprising and unforeseen. In the context of borders, the unpredictability can be particularly striking. This commentary on U.S./Mexico border commerce and economy assumes that the future is not what it used to be: 'El futuro ya no es lo que era antes'. Borderlanders/'Los Fronterizos', who live and work in the dozen twin cities ('ciudades gemelas') that dot our 2,000-mile border from Tijuana/San Diego to Brownsville/Matamoros, know how central we are to each other. The cross-border movement ('ida y vuelta') of shoppers, workers, tourists, students, and business people have knit together a fabric of interdependence at the national margins. This binational regionalism is growing despite an infrastructure distinctly unsuited to accommodate it. By infrastructure I mean both the physical state of our ports of entry ('garitas') as well as the official reality of invisible arrangements embodied in our respec¬tive immigration and customs regulations. But I am also referring to our intellectual infrastructure, including the misperceptions that color U.S. thinking about Mexico and vice-versa, even among 'Fronterizos' who think they know one another. All these infrastructures require reengineering to construct a twenty-first century border and bilateral relationship capable of meeting future demands. This must begin, on our side of the border, with a revised American understanding of modern Mexico and its economy, society, and politics."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies: http://chds.dodlive.mil/
Media Type:
Regional Insights (October 2013), no.3
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