The United States and Mexico: A Multifaceted Partnership

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
April 13, 2009

"This is one of the most important relationships that exists between any two countries in the world. We are part of the same family, we share this continent as our common home, and we will inhabit a common future."
— Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

U.S./Mexico Bilateral Agenda

Energy and Climate Change
Environmental Protection
Emergency Management
Building Civil Society
Partnering on Global Issues
Law Enforcement

In making Mexico her first stop in Latin America as U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized the need for a strong and sustained partnership between the two countries, based on comprehensive engagement, shared responsibility and joint efforts to address hemispheric and global issues.

Economics and Trade
About a billion dollars in goods travel daily between the United States and Mexico. Mexico is America's third-largest trading partner. To facilitate commerce and travel, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $720 million for immediate upgrades to our North American border crossings.

Overall, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has served both countries well. Since its implementation in 1994:

  • U.S. exports to Mexico have risen 198%
  • Mexican exports to the United States are up by 336%

Mexican immigrants have made up the largest immigrant population to the United States for the last 50 years, bringing their skills, labor, and rich cultural diversity to every state. Mexican-Americans make up the largest share of the 15% of the U.S. population with Hispanic roots.

More than a million Mexicans and Americans travel to the other country each day for vacation, work, shopping, family visits, school, and return home.

Security/Merida Initiative
The United States is actively supporting the courageous efforts of Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his administration in their campaign against drug trafficking, organized crime and related violence. Under the Merida Initiative, Mexico and the United States are implementing projects to strengthen law enforcement, border security, counternarcotics efforts, the judicial sector, and bilateral and regional cooperation.

New Security Initiatives

  • More than $80 million in U.S. funding for Blackhawk helicopters for Mexican law enforcement.
  • New bilateral implementation office in Mexico to coordinate bilateral cooperation on law enforcement issues.
  • Increased U.S. efforts to stop the flow of arms and cash into Mexico and curb the appetite for illicit drugs in the United States.

The United States and Mexico share widespread and deep cultural ties.

  • Both countries have diverse populations and promote equal opportunity for all.
  • Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the United States while English is the second most-spoken language in Mexico.
  • The two countries have long collaborated in science and technology.
  • Student and academic exchanges flourish between the two countries.

Mutual Emergency Assistance
Mexico and the United States have a long tradition of helping each other during natural disasters including hurricanes, floods and wildfires and have recently updated a bilateral emergency management agreement. For instance, the Mexican Army provided food and support to U.S. citizens evacuated from Hurricane Katrina, and Mexican firefighters helped battle wildfires in California.