On December 17, 2017, the U.S. House of Representative passed the resolution titled “Reaffirming a strong commitment to the United States-Mexico partnership.” The Resolution highlights some of the recent accomplishments achieved by both countries and reaffirms the need for continued cooperation on issues such as security, economic development, advancement of human rights, and engagement on regional issues.
The resolution was a positive change of tone compared to that which only tie our countries relationship and success to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). For organizations which promote better relationships between both countries and work towards building stronger binational partnerships, the resolution showed a more holistic view of U.S.-Mexico relations.
But encapsulating the relationship between both our countries is impossible for there are hundreds of organizations which are continually working to improve the lives of individuals regardless of what side of the border they are on. These groups provide medicine, education, technology and an array of other special services to help either Americans in Mexico or Mexicans in the United States.
As mentioned so eloquently in the first paragraph of the U.S. Department of State- Relations with Mexico page:
“U.S. relations with Mexico are strong and vital. The two countries share a 2,000-mile border, and bilateral relations between the two have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, whether the issue is trade and economic reform, education exchange, citizen security, drug control, migration, entrepreneurship, and innovation, or energy cooperation. The scope of U.S.-Mexican relations is broad and goes beyond diplomatic and official relations.”
Seven months after the passage of the resolution reaffirming our commitment to Mexico, both our countries’ elected Presidents who agree on the need to collaborate on four main issues: Trade, Migration, Development, and Security. Both would also like to finalize a new NAFTA deal, but regardless of what ultimately happens with the over 1,700-page text both our countries’ citizens and businesses, will continue pulling each country closer to one another.
Outside of the insane amount of money that is continually flowing between our countries, in 2017 reaching over $1.7 billion daily, it is more important to recognize the humans that flow between our countries as well. Whether for business, tourism, or education our countries have tens of thousands of individuals legally moving between our borders every day. We are more similar than we are different, and in our differences, we find both intrigue and opportunity. This constant back and forth of people leads to the continual exchange and application of best practices between our two countries that keep us propelling forward.
Introduced last year, it is important to highlight legislative bill H.R. 1567: United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act provides the opportunity for further collaboration between both countries and creates bridges in the fields of energy, education, medicine, and entrepreneurship. It is important to highlight bills such as this to provide the opportunities for both our countries to engage at a level that and set a standard for international best practices and drive towards achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals which both countries committed to complete by 2030.
Future generations of Mexicans and Americans are already building bridges of dialogue in every field imaginable thanks to programs such as the U.S. Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education which was launched in 2014. Initiatives such as this one have to lead to nearly 100,000 students exchanged between both countries, since 2011, providing an environment where ideas and knowledge flows. Neither countries goal is to undermine the other but to work towards a more prosperous future together.
Over the years the MATT-Foundation has worked with multi-sector partners to build bridges of understanding between both countries in the fields of medicine, business, education, and migration. Between 2014 and 2017, our Registro Civil program worked with the governments of Jalisco and Coahuila in Mexico and helped over 4,500 people access key documentation, such as birth certificates, to facilitate formal integration into the United States. Initiatives such as this are just one of the numerous untold partnerships between our countries’ businesses, organizations, and institutions are continually undertaking to generate a positive impact for communities in either country.
Both countries still have a lot they can learn from one another, opportunities to highlight, and benefit to gain. The U.S. and Mexico have created a support system which benefits one another but that requires continual coordination. Our ability to work with our neighbors is not a benefit that should be taken for granted, but understood as the benefit that has been generated from years of dedication from past generations.