Bridging the Border: Reinforcing Ties between the U.S. and Mexico - April 12, 2012

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Americas Center
World Affairs Council of Atlanta

Steve Kay, Americas Center (

The April 12 panel, moderated by Atlanta Fed President and CEO Dennis P. Lockhart, explored the long-standing relationship between the United States and Mexico, two countries bound by history, geography, and trade.

Mexico has experienced a decade of relative stability, thanks to a series of fiscal and monetary reforms, explained Ed Skelton, a business economist at the Dallas Fed. Those reforms include central bank independence, fiscal discipline, and the adoption of a formal inflation target.

The country's electoral system has also undergone extensive reforms, making it one of the most impartial systems in the world, said Robert Pastor, director of American University's Center for North American Studies. Pastor argued that it is time for the United States, Canada, and Mexico to refocus on the hemisphere, where trade relations have stalled since 2001.

Professor Jennifer McCoy, of Georgia State University and the Carter Center, spoke about the prospects for Mexico's elections, as well as the country's foreign policy in the hemisphere.

As Mexico's economy and financial system have grown more stable and robust, so too has its importance as a U.S. trading partner. Jorge López Pérez, regional director–North America for the trade promotion agency ProMéxico, described the relationship between the United States and Mexico as a big, tight knot, with the two countries' economic and financial systems having become stronger and more intertwined.

The Atlanta Fed's Americas Center seeks to contribute to informed policies and practices that respond to the changing dynamics in Latin American, Caribbean, and Spanish financial institutions and markets.