Partnering with Mexico is wise

By Victor Trevino
The Republic |

In January, we witnessed the beginning of a second term for President Barack Oba­ma. In December, in Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto began a six-year term.

There are several reasons to emphasize the new beginnings of executive branches of the United States and Mexico: Both countries share a bor­der of more than 2,000 miles, both are part­ners through the North American Free Trade Agree­ment, both share historical and family ties and both have a common bilateral agenda.

While Obama has an agenda that will address domestic fis­cal policy and economic growth, his administration also has other priorities like immi­gration, gun control, energy and climate change.

Concurrently (and this was something that I confirmed re­cently during a meeting of am­bassadors and consuls of Mex­­ico), the five guiding principles of the new Mexican govern­ment address most of the is­sues mentioned above: a peace­ful Mexico, an inclusive coun­try with quality education, eco­nomic prosperity and positioning Mexico as an actor with greater global responsi­bility.

Prosperity and responsibil­ity involve immigration. On that subject, the government of Mexico welcomes the princi­ples for a comprehensive re­form of the immigration sys­tem in the United States that have been laid out both by the president and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators. It also acknowledges the valuable in­put that has been provided in recent weeks by numerous eco­nomic groups and civil-society organizations.

We recognize the commit­ment shown by an increasing number of U.S. leaders to en­sure that the legal frameworks in North America reflect the region’s demographic realities, the existing complement be­tween our economies, the need for a prosperous, competitive, secure and efficient border, and the family links as well as the shared values between our societies. The priority of pro­tecting the rights of every indi­vidual, regardless of his or her immigration status, has appro­priately been included at the core of this debate.

Immigration policy is a fed­eral domestic issue in the Unit­ed States. Nevertheless, it has an effect on the lives of mil­lions of individuals permanent­ly present in this country. The government of Mexico will continue to respectfully pro­mote and inform discussion of the many dimensions of this subject, and to protect the rights of its citizens abroad.

In the area of economics, the start of the administration of Peña Nieto and the second term for Obama also opens a window of opportunity to update and strengthen NAFTA, which will enter its 20th year in 2014, as well as an analysis on how to ex­pand its economic ties with Asia through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Every 12 years there is this convergence of power between the U.S. and Mexico and per­haps it’s never been as relevant as it is now to take advantage of it. Both governments need their counterpart, including its people, to do well, and if this is achieved, we will all thrive.

Victor M. Treviño is the consul general of Mexico in Phoenix.

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