home Mexico, USA Convocation: A Vision for a Stronger U.S.-Mexico Partnership

Convocation: A Vision for a Stronger U.S.-Mexico Partnership

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New report and video launch


featuring former Ambassadors

And Ambassadors



New report: Convocation: A Vision for a Stronger U.S.-Mexico Partnership


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  • Is there a version in Spanish?
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In January 2020, the U.S.-Mexico Foundation and the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute brought together 6 former U.S. ambassadors to Mexico and 6 former Mexican ambassadors to the United States to discuss the bilateral relationship. The ambassadors engaged in an intensive and strategic dialogue concerning the future of U.S.-Mexico relations in critical areas, including economic competitiveness, public security, migration and borders. The participants also discussed the importance of cultural issues, public opinion and soft power to the bilateral relationship. Out of this Convocation, we produced a report, which outlines specific recommendations in each of the three traditional pillars of U.S.-Mexico relations: trade and competitiveness; security and the rule of law; and migration.

The discussions generated the following key findings and recommendations for the future of U.S.-Mexico relations:

Strong institutions support stability and progress in the U.S.-Mexico relationship by maintaining the focus of high-level officials and helping to build cross-border relationships. Officials should restart the bilateral economic dialogue and potentially expand it to include issues of security and migration. A bilateral cabinet meeting could serve as an opportunity to initiate a new period of cross-border collaboration.
At both national and local levels, the United States and Mexico must work to sustain public support for positive bilateral relations. People-to-people connections, especially through student and research exchanges, are critical to fostering mutual interest and understanding among U.S. and Mexican citizens.
The United States and Mexico should develop a bilateral, coordinated economic strategy that is forward looking. This economic agenda must extend beyond trade issues to include inclusive regional growth, workforce development, and infrastructure investment to facilitate trade and travel.
The United States and Mexico should establish a framework for a modernized security and intelligence-sharing relationship between the two countries that emphasizes shared responsibility in confronting transnational security and rule of law challenges. A comprehensive and dynamic strategy is needed to build institutional capacity and direct it quickly to developing issues, such as fentanyl trafficking.
The two countries should work together at the federal and subnational levels on issues of border management. Innovative programs, such as joint inspection of cargo by U.S. and Mexican officials, can simultaneously improve border security and efficiency.
The dynamics of regional migration have changed dramatically over the past decade, with Central Americans and recently extra-continental migrants growing in importance. The United States and Mexico should develop a bilateral migration framework that, to the extent possible, takes migration out of the political realm and makes it an issue of technical management. It should facilitate legal migration and modernize border management while prioritizing the humane treatment of migrants and refugees.


The US-Mexico Foundation (USMF) is a bi-national, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering bilateral cooperation and a better understanding between the United States and Mexico. The organization began operations in 20009 with initial funds from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and the Business Foundation in Mexico (Fundemex). USMF carries out its mission in two ways: operating programs and promoting constructive dialogue on key issues of binational interest. Current programs include: U.S. Mexico 360, a public diplomacy initiative that provides an opportunity for U.S. leaders and Mexico meet with their counterparts on a professional study tour in Mexico and the US; the Rio Bravo Congressional Fellowship, a nonpartisan program that connects US and Mexican legislative assistants with experts in the area of bilateral relations; and Mexican Newscast in the USA, the Mexican radio program that is broadcast from the United States to communicate to a Mexican audience the important problems at stake on the northern border.

Mexico Institute, Wilson Center
The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world. The Wilson Center’s
Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. wilsoncenter.org



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