tv U.S.- Mexico Relations CSPAN June 10, 2018 3:47am-4:54am EDT
without either undercutting its own traditions or breaking faith with of the new testament, the gospel of jesus christ. >> q and i tonight -- q&a tonight on c-span eastern area -- c-span eastern. >> on tuesday, the wilson center's mexico institute and migration policy institute cohosted an event with current and former officials from the u.s. and mexico. this is about an hour and 10 minutes. >> we really have a phenomenal panel. roundtable.his as a the honorable carla hill is known to everyone in this room. she is president of hills and
company but also a former u.s. trade representative who negotiated the original nafta agreement. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> do you want to know who negotiated the worst agreement ever is? [laughter] >> she led at probably our greatest -- nafta is probably the signature agreement but there is an enormous effervescence of commercial relationships at the end of the cold war. over the signature moment of change in u.s. trade policy. secretary ofed as housing and urban development and has chairs the american dialog, the foreign relations, as well. innumerable titles we can adhere. thank you for making time to be here with us today. the honorable alan person. these of four commissioner of customs and border protection. i met him as a grad student every he will remember this but
i do. he was the u.s. attorney for the southern district of california and he did quite a few things in between that and homeland security, including being the head of the public schools in san diego. san diego unified district i believe it's called. and secretary of state in the state of california, which is an analyst position, as well. he's always had a special commitment though his works globally and statewide and locally, he's been from local government up to global concerns has always had a particular interest in how the u.s. and mexico and work together and how this comes together. and antonio ortiz menna joins from the stonebridge group, adjunct professor at a university in mexico, and also a visiting professor at the end and wash school at georgetown university.
he was the minister counter of the economic affairs. before that, some of you will remember his academic life. we were both grad students together. we talked together at the same .ime for pierce smith we were teaching students back in the day. antonio before he got into government and his current mostr, was one of mexico's published and best respected scholars of trade. not only trade with the u.s., but try with brazil and published extensively. he was early in the nafta negotiations. >> i think it was a great agreement. [laughter] >> that's right. he published extensively about this and did a lot of the mexican scholarship on international scholarship on mexico policy and worked in
government and the private sector. great to have the three of you. in the early 1990's, it would have been hard to imagine where we are today. forget the political moment itself, but how much trade between the mexico and united states canada. what difference did nafta make for our economy? this was about competitiveness and the future of the american economy. what difference does that make? >> nafta make an enormous difference. let me start by saying i think your book will also. >> thank you. >> there is so much misinformation floating about between our governments, our people. if you walk outside the doors of this institute and ask the first 10 people you meet, what do you think about the north american free trade agreement?
or what do you think about the bilateral relationship with mexico? or how do you think that the trio, canada, mexico, and the united states -- how do they work together? probably you get, well it doesn't matter. it does matter and it matters hugely. and there is a book that i swear to you i have read and you cannot put it down. because he takes the facts that we are all going to talk about and he translates them into a story, a human story. something that you want to read that chapter to see what happens to that family that was in that place that was having these problems. but change did occur in the early 1990's and mexico, president salinas very much wanted to open the market. it was highly restricted. and they had gone through a very difficult decade of the 1980's.
president bush senior very much wanted to open the markets. we in the united states have 5% of the worlds population producing roughly 20% of the output. hey, you can't eat it all. and he believed firmly that if we could get north america marshaled together with less complex rules, it would make a difference. and it truly has. when you think of the differences that nafta made, we $19have a market of billion, 490 million consumers, and it didn't occur before. we eliminated all the restrictions on industrial goods , most of the agricultural goods, and we created rules to
protect intellectual property, rules to create investment, and ,ules that, if we had a dispute as even you do in families, that we had a mechanism for resolving those disputes. and our interregional trade exploded. it's now six times what it was that very -- what it was then. we have 13 million jobs that are connected to our trade. estimation --port export destination -- number one, canada. global export destination. number two, mexico. we sell more to mexico then we sell to the rest of latin america. we sell more to mexico then we sell to france, britain, germany, and the netherlands. this is a bad agreement? goodis an incredibly
agreement that has smoothed out the rules because 90% of our exporters are small and medium-sized businesses. and for them to be able to ship across borders as they do today, it makes a difference. our -- onenine of out of nine jobs is connected to tourism. tourism has blossomed with mexico. and with canada, too. and it so we want to hold onto these issues. these are just the economics. but i think in terms of political and working in the global arena, having to neighbors, friendly, north and south, two oceans, east and west, we are so blessed. you look around the world and there's friction between the
next-door neighbor and the nation your're speaking of. here, we have a family. and wwe're working together. we share investments, tourism, trade, and it something we need to hold onto. but if we're going to hold onto it, we need to educate the american people on exactly what is at stake. and we have built supply lines that are so well-connected that it is made north america and the united states has gotten the dividend of it, the most competitive region in the world. you want to cut off those pipelines? you want to cut off the imports from mexico when 60% are intermediate products that make your product globally competitive? hey, you're making a big
mistake. and when 40% of everything that we import from mexico is u.s. content, it tells you how interconnected we are. so i would say to everyone who's listening to this program and is reading this book, get out and march to keep our partnership with our southern and our northern neighbors strong, vibrant, and lifelong. so. [applause] we will come back to you in a moment on this because that was immensely compelling. let me turn to alan burstyn for a moment. not now but i will come back about an article you wrote in the washington post a few days ago about how to handle migration at the border. before we do that, taking advantage of what carla was talking about of how we have these extensive flows across the border.
one of the things you were involved in over the years, starting in the 1990's, i read an article you wrote around 2000, 2001. you had just left the u.s. attorney, probably early 2000's, and you wrote about this before it happened. in the last 15-20 years, we've moved to managing the borders in a different ways, thinking in terms of secure flows. how did that change? we've gone from managing it as one country has shared forms of management. what changed here? >> first, let me -- building on family,lling this a thanking you for writing the family history. what's remarkable about this book is that it's always good to be in a place where you are supposed to teach when you end up learning, listening to the ambassador and duncan and carla, taught me why this book is
so extraordinary and so important for everyone to read. i always look at the data and then i listened to the rhetoric. many, many years, not figuring out how the facts on the ground are so different from the perceptions and the political rhetoric. but it is because, in fact, we don't know the stories. we don't know the human dimensions of this. in fact, we get data and the only anecdotes we get -- and this is not a criticism of journalism. it's always going to turn to the crisis -- the only anecdotes we get our bad stories. , to myve never actually friend andrew has taken on the task and the analogy and the comparisons is actually not off at all -- we start to see the positive stories, what makes the border, what makes the family. and in fact, for most of u.s.
mexico history, because of the eastcentury war, the line to west that separated the two countries was the key to the relationship. and adding insult to injury, most mexicans never forgot that the treaty of guadalupe hidalgo resulted in the loss of half of mexico's territory and the insult was that most americans never knew it. that is what we saw when we
arrived at the same time at the mexican border in the 1990's. has is not a history he written. he was actually dare act their creation. he watched this evolved. .t was about the line we were not cooperative. we were friendly after the war. we were technically demilitarized. that there was not a lot of trust. not a lot of confidence. everything was at arms length. pointed tomentators immigration and said, every to leave. the right every u.s. official would say, but it is illegal to cross the line when you do not have a visa to do so.
, you mexicans controlled the drugs with gangs. and mexicans would say, if you americans did not consume drugs at the rate you do, we would not have the problem. and by the way, the guns coming south are doing enormous damage to our people. security issues were the occasion for finger-pointing. the result of nafta, for e andtime the flows north south of people, ideas, counted more than the line east, west. we respected sovereignty but the flows and it interactions so well-chronicled in "vanishing
priority. took we were no longer tied to what happened in the line and we could explore relationships. we can look at that later in the context of migration. border us about the bridge. it is only one of many things that happened that the border. it is set a good visual. what is the bridge to the tijuana airport? >> as my wife says, i've had trouble hanging on to jobs. back, those of you who have flown into san diego notice a single runway and it is bounded by the harbor and bounded by the marine corps
training base, neither of which is going to move. see you have the busiest runway airport in the world. you move was, where do it? for 50 years, san diego debated. should it stay downtown or should we move it to miramar air force base. wasng the iraq war a vote taken. marines made it clear they did not want to give up miramar. so the decision was taken. i was fortunate enough to get involved with jurisdictions that were required to make a change to this little san diego .irport, lindbergh field we were sitting out there and the airport authority came out with a plan to build out the gates and so on. someone said, what are you going to do when you run out of
capacity at this airfield with a single runway? had a greathower line, he said, when you can't solve a problem make it bigger. biggerade the problem because 15 or 16 miles away is an airport that has runway with capacity for several runways parallel to the border and that started the process of building the bridge across the fence. it took seven years. i think there were a lot of -- the onlymothers credit i give myself as i was the forest gone who managed to be at the import authority and then became the manager of
customers -- customs and border security so that anyone who sayd to chill it, i could no, this is something we need to do. for those of you who have not experienced it, i urge you to do that. patternstely changed of traffic, created the ability of people from california to move. people who can fly to the west coast now can go through san diego and the west coast. we have just begin to explore the implications of this remarkable bridge across the wall. >> it allows people to use the tijuana airport almost as this is san diego.
venture, heivate was able to get through to colleagues at homeland security. needed incredibly problems. it brought the people of tijuana together and very unique ways. if you want a symbol of the relationship, i would put it in of seeing that bridge across the border fence and knowing it was not driven by ideology but i to metro regions --but by two metro reasons regions. two parts.y you have san diego city, san diego county, tijuana and surrounding areas thinking of each other as a metro area that is stronger
together. there as a tear a city. a city. >> we all knew nafta was going to unleash investment in mexico. stagnant economy in the 1980's, early 1990's, they wanted to generate investment in mexico. companiest, american everywhere. is in -- and i'm told story -- the book starts with the story of hazleton, pennsylvania, the epicenter of the anti-immigration debate. a fascinating city. it has a great future.
it has for mexican-owned factories in and around the city. you see a transformation to where mexicans are the providers of js for the city. that is something none of us predicted. >> that is right. was created to1 in mexico.estment there is no such provision in the canada-mexico agreement. give names --you i'm sure a lot of you don't know what these companies did. you will have to read the book to know. names.ican brand
>> thomas english muffins, sara lee, entenmann's, these are all owned now by mexican companies, right question mark they are creating jobs in the u.s.. let me highlight one i think shows the potential of nafta and the pitfalls of what is happening as we speak. there is a company in missouri close to arkansas. in 2013, it was bought by mexican steel company. 5% of the new market was nail companies were from china. thanks to the purchase of a mid-continent, it
not only survived but thrived. they do that? it was mexican investment in the u.s. a cross-border supply chain. you need steel from mexico to transform into nails and keep manufacturing alive in the u.s.. this is not a zero-sum game. without mexico, it would be a zero game. a zero without mexico. with this new tariff, who knows what the future of midcontinent bel or other companies will are companies that survived with the trade and investment links with mexico. if those supply chains are
disrupted, i think this brings home why training and investment between mexico and the u.s. are good. i want to congratulate andrew on doing this. this is something i was never able to do at the mexican embassy. i asked a number of companies to help me tell a story about why wase investment in mexico positive for the bottom line, for employment, etc. we still have a ways to go. a lot of the examples here are about mexican investments in the u.s. but we need more u.s. companies speaking frankly and sharing stories. i needed to say that. i will mention to other examples. one has to do with north dakota. this is important.
to a republican state senator from north dakota and it turns out 30% of edible beans from north dakota are bought by mexico. what will happen if there is a tit-for-tat that affects agricultural trade? it is thanks to nafta the u.s. to export agricultural water mexico. products toral mexico. us, -- gracias, mexico. as an aside, i do not know who
that is a great example of how we can work together. think itdue respect, i is fair to think about what the future has in store for us. this is a hopeful story. let me end on an optimistic note. hazleton.ack to tried a course at johns hopkins. always starting with hazleton, pennsylvania. envelopee back of the math. peso -- there are about 13,000 pesos of the story to be told.
i think the hazleton story is very powerful. fromentioned joe maddon the cubs. alert. do a spoiler you have to read this to understand what he has to do with u.s.-mexico relations. >> the general manager of the houston astros, the last two world series owners. -- winners. >> i'm excited that people do make a difference. you talk about individuals making a difference. i want to congratulate you because you have been mixing passion with knowledge and dedication. we need more of that. the opposite of that is when we .ix loose information
so kudos. i'm sure your book will make a big difference. gracias. [applause] >> let's do one more quick round. ambassador jim jones has joined us. and that another ambassador who just stepped down. great to have you here. about thehave talked auto industry. it features big in the book. when you came in, the u.s. commercial debate that had always been about the automobile industry, there was the notion
the american auto industry was going down and foreign industry was going to eat our lunch. foreign cars would flood the market. it did not happen. it is hard to find an important car these days. what happened? >> the auto industry showed the benefits of opening the market. arey our supply chains very, very tight. 14 million jobs that are connected with our supply chains. if we cut those off, we are going to be really injured in the united states. mexico first of all was not purchasing that many products.
by becoming efficient and getting the best geographic locations of that widget you needed to make your product competitive made our industry take off. thate do have a problem in we have to make a product with fewer workers because of the automation but that is a domestic issue. we need a program that trains people who are no longer using their hands on the manufacturing floor. they are trained by 23 weeks of training to deal with technology of the 21st century. our connections with mexico and canada. it does worry me that we are under an oldction
to protect our national security. it is hard for me to see how we andinjured on steel aluminum and having interactions with our neighbors who are two of our largest suppliers and some of that supply is like finished steel. but we're going to put a tariff on it? that will make it very tough for some of our industries to be competitive. our defense department has already said publicly, we do not use much metal. we are much more worried about tariffs. -- i agree with that. oureed to maintain relationships with our closest
allies and focus on the problem we see with respect to oversupply. neeweto join hands with our closest allies and confront the problem directly. shineould be talking to about subsidizing this steel, cement, and aluminum industries and make a deal rather than our alliesdies to with whom we need to work in a political fashion but also an economic need. industrial production in the united states tied to mexico and canada? >> absolutely. >> is it possible to think of american production without them? it in want we
import. import fromwe canada is u.s. content. 40% of what we import from mexico is u.s. content. it is 2% with japan. with china. in other words, we are shipping back-and-forth across the border on so many things, auto being number one. where you make one of the products, put it on, ship it back. it crosses the border about five times on average. that is amazing. if we cut that off, we will be far less competitive globally. that is one thing that has been missing in that debate. how much you cannot turn the
clock back because we are integrated across the border. when we do damage to our neighbor, it ricochets back on us. since we are at the migration policy institute, would like to talk about border and migration. you wrote an article in the washington post a few days ago. one of the things that happened is since 2007, there are very few mexicans crossing the border illegally. there are large flows, a stable amount of mexicans in the united states, but the number of mexicans crossing an unauthorized fashion has dropped dramatically. but we've seen a rise in central americans coming across. this is led to a rise intentions
between mexico and the united states. noweems the tendency right in washington is to push back on needs and say that mexico to fix his. it you have other ideas. goodrk twain had a bit of advice. he said, first get the facts straight and then you can distort them as much as you like. mexico has grown me into the in thergest economy world. it is no longer the country we experienced over the last five or six decades. it has become a transit country because the push factors are now affecting central americans, especially in what amount and el salvador. they are transiting through mexico on the way to the southwest border.
we discovered early on in dealing with the migration issue as doris meisner and janet rina led the effort in the early it is extraordinarily difficult to manage the borderline in terms of crossing and the repatriation of migrants if you try to do it without the cooperation of your neighbor. or 20 years us 15 with the help of diplomats like jim jones to build relationships with our mexican counterparts. you begin to jointly manage the migration issue at the border. thepopulation has exploited issue to make it a hot button inflamed issue of domestic politics in this country. that is what we are seeing now with the talk of the wall or the
declaration we want to prosecute every one of the people that comes across the border in a federal criminal court. , as we say in the article, a good sound bite, but it is not possible. the number of migrants apprehended in the last year crossing illegally for the most part from central america numbered just over 300,000. you could not possibly prosecute every single one of those people. we don't have it of course, marshalls, probation officers or detention space. and it mayollow idea have a short-term deterrent effect although initial data indicates it has not slowed the flow of central americans. we need to address the two large issues.
the factors that drive people triangle andrthern we have to address the fact that we have a broken immigration system which everyone agrees is broken although we do not seem to be able to come up with a comprehensive immigration reform. those are the two elements that have to be addressed. while we are waiting for those, rather than talking about walls or zero-tolerance prosecution, we should talk about the two major issues. we need to partner with mexico even more than we have done. mexico in defense of its own publicl security and safety has stopped 500,000 central americans who crossed the mexico on their way to united states. imagine the impact on the southwest border and mexico was not cooperating with our needs
but doing it for their own purposes driven by their own policy requirements. we need to strengthen our relationship with mexico. the comanagement of a migration problem should be continental in scope. the flow from central america and around the world. we have a broken immigration court system. we should not be emphasizing the need for federal prosecutions but we need to address an immigration system that has hundreds of thousands of cases in the backlog waiting for hearings. if we had crisp adjudication of migrant rights, we would not see what we see today, which is many 2-5le waiting for hearings
years. it leads to the building of of equities for people who live here, developed jobs, have families, then we have a hearing and rip families apart. looking at it from the other perspective, if i'm in hazelton and suddenly i have 16 neighbors waiting for an immigration hearing and i wonder what is happening, you can imagine what kind of tensions build up politically. we need to strengthen our relationship with mexico. we need to strengthen our immigration court system. we need to stop looking for the silver bullet that does not exist when it comes to a complex social issue such as migration.
,> the way we can do it actually, mexico would be the place in which the asylum would be asserted. that would have some very beneficial effects for our migration policy. it would discourage falls asylum and provide refuge for people who are genuinely in danger of persecution in their home countries.
need neither completely open borders.or sealed we need the rule of law to govern that the border. without mexico. >> let me ask you one more question. involved with daca. issue that is ultimately an american issue we need to deal with. americans think there needs to be a permanent solution. >> as a result of that, after the failure of the obama ,dministration immigration secretary napolitano tried to promulgate the daca regulations which was received and now
upwards of 700,000 young mexicans who were brought to this country by their parents givenew up here have been a right to remain here and renew that right every two years. even president trump says he is an favor of the daca kids. congress,s said to you must be the ones to fix the problems. a federal court in san francisco and also, i believe in new york has ruled that the way in which the daca regulations were rescinded by the trump administration was illegal. as a result of that, the deportation of the daca young people has been halted. the matter is on appeal. it was just argued in the ninth
circuit and invariable late -- and it will invariably go to the supreme court and we hope there is a legislative solution to this issue because, while there may not be broad agreement on many migration matters, 85% of the american people have spoken on behalf of these young people who have made an enormous contributions to our military, our educational institutions, and to our communities. >> before we go to the audience, i very quickly wanted to ask you about how mexicans are responding to the current moment. mexico has become a target of much of u.s. policy. it has become an object of the american president's attention. i actually say somewhere in the book, i know i have said this to a few of you, sometimes when we
talk about mexico, we are not really talking about mexico, but ourselves. mexico is our struggle. sometimes we are talking about globalization. sometimes it is china. sometimes we feel like we're losing power in the world. sometimes, europe whether we can still compete. not all conversations about mexico are really conversations about mexico, some are really about ourselves. in mexico, when people hear these conversations, it does have their name and country attached to it. how are they responding? >> i would say they are responding in a very mature and even-headed and patient way. i sense a contrast between the time when nafta was being negotiated and the president. i have the privilege of being a part of the nafta team. it was a pretty controversial issue back then. we were educated by saying that the u.s. took half of mexico in
the mexico-american war. we call it not even a war. there is a monument to the children who died rather than surrender. we have a national anthem. this was our worldview. i even had some strong discussions with my dad, it is generational. what are you doing about the nafta? you have to be very careful about the u.s., they took half of -- i'm going to do nafta. it seems like the distant past, but now we see the u.s. as our ally, our friend, our friend our bff. as some people with say, right? suddenly, our bff offends us. unfriend sus. -- unfriends us.
antonio: i would say mexicans are in shock. what happened? we are friends we have to get along. all of that, located history is in the past. we need to get along now more than ever. this disbelief, misunderstanding. i think there is still distinction between the current u.s. administration and the u.s. as a nation. it is important to keep those two issues separate. from a policy perspective, i think mexicans have been very coolheaded. today, as i was making my way here, i saw that the mexican federal register has just published the tariff reprisal against the u.s. still, it is a measured expected response. we are not being very aggressive. i would say that the hope across political affiliations, regions
and ages -- i joked a short time ago that the current u.s. president managed something that only the mexican president and did, and that was unite mexicans. we have the same views on nafta and the wall, and to have positive and constructive relations with the u.s. >> i have noticed that as well. i've been very impressed with the evolution of -- this would be a moment to bring back the ultra-nationalism of the past. it doesn't seem about has happened. with that, let's go to the audience. if you are in the room, raise your hand. if you are not in the room and want to ask a question, you can tweet to us.
first.identify yourself >> i am a professor of law at texas a&m university. one quick anecdote to his message, i was born in 1982. when i was studying mexico in primary and secondary school, our public school books included nafta. it does include the war against the united states, that at the end of the chapter we were going to be a part of a north american region. we were raised to believe that the u.s. and mexico were together. that the frontiers were going to be banished.
we are a generation raised under that perspective. i want to piggyback about it on the overreaction. there is a lot of push in mexico to reevaluate the relationship with the united states. to instruct the government to revise all the memorandums we have on u.s. government and migration issues. i would like the panel to talk a little bit more on that relationship. there's a lot of understanding memorandums signed by agencies and local governments and municipalities. the level of understanding that bureaucrats and agencies have with each other, i would like you to talk about that. >> we will take two or three questions and then we will come back to the panel. >> claudio sanchez from npr. thank you for the book. i want to be concise. i think your book is trying to get at the issue of identity in many ways. in some ways, at its core, but if we are to educate future generations about this extraordinary relationship
between mexico and the u.s., how is that identity involving? i want to be specific. in our coverage of the u.s.-born children who are now ending up in different places, i tell the story of a nine-year-old who sees himself as neither of the u.s. or a mexican citizen. i want to know whether these new generations are going to in some way, change, alter the relationship very deeply, precisely in the way you have described, this relationship as a family. i wondered if anybody has any thoughts about this identity issue on the panel. >> thank you.
congratulations for the book. this is a two front question. how strong our mexican antibodies domestically against protectionism? is mexico ready to be an open society for receiving asylum-seekers at this moment? violence has been very hard against any making refugee claims there. how ready is mexico to become a multicultural society? >> there was a hand up in the back as well. >> i would like to turn attention to the nafta and side agreements. the beginning of my career, i worked with issues related to environment. that was one of the issues covered in the side agreements to the nafta.
it seems to me that the problem that we see both in the u.s. and in mexico now, is that those who have not benefited from economic integration are raising their hand and saying what about us? what needs to be done going forward on environment and labor issues? what might have been done 25 years ago that would have maybe not presented the kind of backlash that we are seeing, but maybe have mitigated it somewhat? >> those are a great set of
questions. let's go back to the panel. we will get one more in and then do another round if we have time. >> thank you very much. congratulations, andrew. usually, when you think about innovation, you don't think about countries like mexico. you think in countries like maybe singapore, korea, i don't know, many others. we read yourt when book, that there are important stories about innovation across the border. my question would be, in your interviews, what do you think are the best examples of possibilities it in cooperation innovation between our two countries. craigslist kobach to the panel and --
what do you think are the best examples of possibilities and cooperation and innovation between our two countries? >> let's go back to the panel and go in the same order. any of the questions you want to answer feel free to take them. we will try to get everyone among all the panelists. you don't have to answer everyone. >> the question that seemed most record to me the one about environmental issues through the north american free trade agreement. those were put in a side agreement. to get it passed through our congress in 1993 by the clinton administration. in the past 25 years, we have moved on. i think there has been a greater appreciation of the fact that we need to work together on environmental issues. we have had the paris environmental accord, of course the u.s. pulled out of that. that doesn't make the environment any less of a critical issue for mankind to work together. the side agreements could be put into the nafta. i strongly believe that the nafta provides a very good
foundation for our relationship, not only our relationship, but as a model to the rest of the world. you remember when we negotiated that agreement, we were also in the process of upgrading the general agreement on tariffs and trade, the gap. we had no rules to deal with intellectual property, which will protect investors to have a dispute settlement. when they finished the nafta, we had all those rules. within four months of it taking effect, the 126 trade ministers came back to the table, finished the round to upgrade the gap, put in protections on intellectual property, investment services, all the things they copied from the nafta, including creating the wto.
north america became a model for what the open market architecture should be like in a regional situation. we need to keep that. we need to modernize the nafta today. i strongly believe our technology has moved ahead. you did not have a cell phone in your pocket. you didn't tweet. we didn't sell services over the internet. we need to modernize the nafta, not keep it as last century, but moved to the 21st century and continue to be a model for the world. i think it is absolutely critical that we maintain and upgrade the agreement.
>> let me address the memorandum of agreement issue and the capabilities of mexico regarding asylum. there were hundreds of memorandum agreements that have memorialized patterns of interaction and ways of doing business. of those ways of doing business and patterns of interaction don't disappear, in fact, they have superseded and many ways the memorandum agreement that initialized the interaction. with the exchange of migrants, with the placement of mexican customs officers in laredo airport in texas, with customs and border protection officers,
and officers doing clearance in american ports of entries, all of those interactions that were initially established through memorandum of agreement continue. they will only be undone with a specific directives, frankly the people in charge of homeland security and other departments don't see the benefit of removing those interactions, and they will continue, notwithstanding the review of memorandum agreements on both sides. with regard to the mexican asylum and refugee assistance agency, it is very small and undeveloped. you can ask, we have developed an extensive refugee and asylum capacity and citizenship and immigration services.
we didn't always have that. this is an occasion to start to build that capacity. the width of experience not only from u.s. agencies, but also world agencies to say to mexico, you are not a transit country and will shortly become a destination country with regard to migration, and you have to have the capacity to deal with asylum and refugee claims. i think the mexican people have proclaimed their support for immigrant rights. we are at the beginning of a new era in migration. it should be an occasion to build up that capacity. >> on the side agreements, i would say that most of the actions that have to be taken are at the national level. bi-national or
regional level. for example, in the u.s., there is something called trade adjustment assistance. why can't that be proactive to make sure there is training for workers? why does it have to be trade related? why isn't it technology related? it is easy to blame trade, and the worst agreement that happens to the u.s. [laughter] but it is just wrong. it is just wrong. we need to do a lot of things domestically. in terms of mexico cooperation, perhaps the ambassador will talk about this, but i think it will be great to have much more transfers between mexico and the u.s. mexican companies and u.s. so that they understand business practices but also each other's cultures so there will be much more labor mobility. much more student mobility. much more than that. technically, one way to get
stronger protection for environmental labor issues is to join the tpp. but oops, they\ didn't do that. >> you are going to make me cry. >> the second way to address that is to make sure there is a strong dispute mechanism in the nafta that covers ambitious commitments on trade and the environment. as far as i understand, the u.s. wants a watered-down mechanism. i think that really won't cut it. that is all i have to say about that agreement. about the anti-bodies in mexico, i would say that they are pretty strong. i would say that the u.s. received a vaccine in the 1930's. i don't know if the effects are wearing off. i don't know. mexico, theerms of
vaccine is still working pretty well. when mexico talks about shift in trade policy, they talk about trade diversification, not about having different markets rather than detection. in fact, in april last year, when it seemed that president trump was about to formally start withdrawal procedure from the nafta, you didn't hear anybody in mexico saying what's -- good, let's take this opportunity. i was happy to see a lot of former nafta critics that said don't get rid of nafta. i think there is strong support for open trade, that there will be more of a focus on forging trade with latin america. mexico did become a part of modernizing agreements with europe. don't see any risk. i don't think protection would be the solution for any of the challenges we face. i think mexico will have a more proactive -- i wouldn't call it industrial policy.
but closer links between government and business to make sure there is a plan that can work in an open economy. on the assessment of the bilateral relationship, it is one of the world's most complex relationships. mexico can diversify trade links up to a limit. i just finished a paper and i examined mexico's trade relations. during several of those episodes, mexico has tried to trade and investment links. you know what the success is? pretty close to zero. the u.s. is always the main partner and always will be. mexico will become increasingly important for the u.s. in 2050, mexico will become the eighth largest economy. we just have to understand each other. we are not moving anywhere.