On Saturday, Enrique Pena Nieto will take office as the new president of Mexico. I had the pleasure of meeting briefly with President-elect Pena Nieto during his short visit to the United States this week, and I am hopeful that his tenure can represent an opportunity to continue and expand on the good relations we have enjoyed with his predecessor Felipe Calderon.
Mexico's longstanding economic, social and cultural ties with the United States have always made our relations with Mexico important. However, since the inauguration of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the dramatic increase in cross-border commerce that resulted, Mexico's economy has grown to become the second largest in Latin America, and it is now the United States' third-largest commercial partner and second-largest market for U.S. exports. For 22 U.S. states, Mexico is the first- or second-largest export market.
Clearly, the need for a positive, productive U.S.-Mexico relationship is driven by far more than the immigration and transnational crime issues that dominate the headlines.Read the rest of the op-ed HERE.