Since the implementation of NAFTA twenty-one years ago, trade between the United States and Mexico has grown six-fold. It now totals more than a half-trillion dollars each year, with approximately 80% of that—more than a billion dollars each day—crossing at the U.S.-Mexico land border.
Trade in many ways drives economic development opportunities at the border, but focusing exclusively on moving goods through the region is insufficient.
To truly capitalize on the potential of the border economy, government, businesses and educational institutions must come together across the border to strengthen the region’s human capital, supplier networks, and business environment with initiative similar to our BiNational Economic Development Zone “BiNED” initiative.
“BiNED is the entire Rio Grande Valley on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, working together to develop and implement one unified advanced manufacturing strategy to create higher paying jobs and help raise our region out of poverty. Every year BILLIONS of dollars pass through our communities through the maquiladoras; but that is the problem, the billions simply pass through our ‘pass-through’ economy. BiNED and the collaborative projects it will initiate will focus on capturing more of this opportunity in the form of local salaries.” —Mike Gonzalez, Executive Director, United Brownsville
About The Report
This year, the Mexico Institute and the North American Research Partnership undertook an initiative to identify, map and analyze key industries that are highly concentrated, dynamic and binational, operating within five binational sub-regions along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. The project is designed to support the economic development work of both local communities and the federal governments in the U.S.-Mexico border region by identifying and strong candidates for cluster-based economic development efforts. We would like to invite you to the launch of the report that resulted from this initiative, Competitive Border Communities: Mapping and Developing U.S.-Mexico Transborder Industries, as we discuss findings and principal recommendations from the project.