What happens when you put together three countries which account for nearly a quarter of the world economy, with trade exchanges worth $1tn a year? Ever greater competitiveness, prosperity and dynamism – that, at least, was the message from the leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico at their annual summit.

And Barack Obama, Stephen Harper and Enrique Peña Nieto – the “Three Amigos” – stuck relentlessly to the script, highlighting trade flows, the prospect for cooperation in security, competitiveness, greater educational and science exchanges, deeper integrated manufacturing supply chains. Read more

By Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas

In office barely a year, Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto is pursuing aggressive reforms for breakout growth through greater competitiveness. Washington should do all it can to help him succeed, because Mexico’s expansion is good for the US.

Already our second largest export market after Canada, US imports from Mexico contain some 40 per cent of US content (from China it’s 4 per cent). In many industries, joint production and supply chains have developed to such an extent that we don’t just trade things together, now we design and make things together, in high value-added products like aerospace, automobiles, and sophisticated medical equipment. Production in Mexico and a growing middle class creates good jobs in the US and vice versa, increasing economies of scale and building North American competitiveness in the face of continued competition from China and elsewhere. Read more

The US shale gas boom is shaping up to be an important competitive advantage for manufacturers – in Mexico.

US natural gas exports to Mexico hit a record last year, helping hold down the country’s energy costs as its industry grew rapidly.

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On Thursday, as he greeted the press in the company of US President Barack Obama, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico characterised the bilateral relationship as having reached “a new level of understanding”.

That is probably an exaggeration. But several important things may have come from Obama’s visit to Mexico City, the first to Mexico since his re-election. Read more

Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s reformist leader, had an important phone call this week: it was with Barack Obama, and the conversation was to confirm that the US president would visit his southern neighbour during the first week of May.

The forthcoming trip, which Mexico’s foreign ministry has described as a working visit to cover everything from trade and competitiveness to security and education, is a big deal for both presidents, but in particular for Peña Nieto.

Not only will it add to political momentum at home, but the visit is also a chance for Peña Nieto to shift the discourse on the relationship between the two countries away from drug violence – and towards trade. Read more

Mexico enjoys a long and deep trade relationship with the US, with products ranging from automobile parts and flat-screen televisions to tomatoes and chicken breasts flowing north across the border to the world’s biggest consumer nation.

But this week, Mexican politicians began talking about another potential export to the US market, which has so far only entered the country illegally: marijuana. Read more

Metaphorical but very rotten tomatoes were being hurled over the Rio Grande on Thursday night as growers in Mexico and Florida launched what some fear could turn into a trade war over a US Commerce Department decision to end a 16-year pact on tomato prices. Read more

Manuel Sánchez, deputy governor of Mexico’s central bank, has been musing about the potential impact on the Mexican economy should the United States fall off its “fiscal cliff”.

In a conversation with US bankers, Sánchez highlighted the near-umbilical link between the economies of the US and Mexico “in terms of industrial integration, trade and investment.” About 80 percent of Mexico’s exports go the US, he added.

But is Sánchez right to be worried? Read more

The US economy shows signs of having wobbly legs after a second straight month of a decline in manufacturing. But other legs appear to be stomping a Mexican folk dance.

Mexican emigrants, overwhelmingly based in the United States, sent home $11.85bn in the first half of the year, a 6 per cent increase on the same period of 2011, the Mexican central bank reported Wednesday. Read more

The US Commerce Department on Monday proposed to impose anti-dumping tariffs of up to 72 per cent on washing machines made by Samsung in Mexico.

But though Mexican officials refused to get into a lather about the threat, they ruffled US feathers on Tuesday by announcing that a Mexican inquiry has found that the US has been dumping some of the 250,000 metric tons a year of chicken legs and backs that it sends south of the border. Read more