President Clinton is making a major trip to Mexico in February, his first presidential visit to Mexico since May 1997. As we enter the sixth year of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and as both countries prepare for elections next year, this trip will set the tone for the future of U.S.-Mexico relations. On the eve of the visit, Brookings will convene an expert panel for an in-depth discussion of the critical issues facing the President on his trip:
- What is the future of NAFTA?
- What should be done to help stave off another economic crisis in Mexico?
- Will the U.S. and Mexico succeed in coordinating efforts to fight the drug trade?
- Can the two nations reach a consensus on illegal immigration?
- What do U.S.-Mexico relations mean for Mexico’s presidential election next year, the first truly competitive election in Mexico this century?
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"You have to play the long game. It’s fine to add money, but when the commitment is volatile and your funding goes up and down constantly, you can end up creating more harm than good."
"We have been in Central America for a long time. It’s not just money that has made us effective in the region — there is a lot of hard-earned experience, trial and error, and institution building that is slowly reaping results. The worst thing that could happen now is to go back to zero."
"Cutting aid to Central American countries would be a mistake, since U.S. aid dollars fund programs that reduce violence, strengthen the justice system, and encourage investment that make them more attractive places for their citizens."