Image credit: COMEXI, CGAI, and Facultad de Derecho
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With almost 80 years of formal diplomatic relations, Mexico and Canada have forged a close economic, political, and cultural partnership. As neighbouring countries, their relationship holds significance for the North American region and the global stage.
Successful commercial relationship framed by the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and now by the USMCA, CUSMA or T-MEC (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) has contributed significantly to Mexico and Canada’s economic growth and prosperity.
However, despite the many successes of the commercial relationship between Mexico and Canada, there are challenges and opportunities, especially facing the recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic and a complex geopolitical and economic context framed by the Russia-Ukraine War and the inflationary crisis worldwide.
“Mexico and Canada: Two Nations in a North American Partnership” delves into the current state of the relationship between Mexico and Canada, seeking to explore whether a more robust and dynamic alliance is still possible. This book aims to inform offering a comprehensive understanding of the current partnership while exploring its potential for further growth and collaboration.
Strengthening this relationship would boost trade and investment further, leading to increased economic growth and prosperity for both countries. Nevertheless, the financial benefit would not be the only one. A deeper relationship would bring political benefits too. As two democratic nations, Mexico and Canada are committed to the rule of law, human rights, and other important democratic values. By working together, the two countries can help to promote these values in the region.
This book recognizes the need to go beyond trade agreements and explore avenues for deeper collaboration and connectivity.
In Chapter 1, “Economic Relations,” the book examines Mexico’s economic future and the opportunities it presents for both countries. It delves into the perspectives of Mexico on the USMCA, analyzing whether it functions as one regional agreement or two separate bilateral agreements. The chapter also explores the importance of supporting supply chains in North America and the potential for a comprehensive North American Energy Security Strategy. Additionally, it highlights the role of shared social values in deepening energy relations and discusses the joint perspective of Mexico and Canada on intellectual property and innovation.
Chapter 2, “Collaboration & Connectivity,” focuses on the collaborative efforts and connections between Mexico and Canada. It delves into the concept of being “Neighbours by Choice,” emphasizing the deliberate efforts to build a lasting bridge between the two nations. The chapter explores the role of parliaments in shaping Mexico-Canada relations, emphasizing the significance of their involvement. It also analyzes the building blocks of a successful negotiating strategy and examines the specific relationship between Quebec and Mexico. Furthermore, it challenges the notion of shaping the relationship solely based on desires and expectations, emphasizing the importance of accepting and working with the relationship as it exists. Lastly, the chapter explores the shared commitment and common challenges Mexico and Canada face.
Chapter 3, “People, Education, and Culture,” recognizes the importance of social and cultural aspects in fostering a strong partnership. It examines the media relationship between Mexico and Canada, questioning why there seems to be a lack of mutual interest. The chapter introduces the concept of the North America Student Mobility Project and its potential to create a bright future through enhanced educational exchange. It also explores the challenges and opportunities for academic research and highlights the importance of understanding each other’s legal systems, specifically the differences between common law and civil law.
In the concluding chapter, “Is there still a vision for a North American community?” the book encourages readers to reflect on the collective vision for a unified North America. It explores whether such a vision is feasible given the current geopolitical landscape and considers the potential paths forward for the Mexico-Canada partnership.
The Canadian Ambassador, Graeme Clark, highlights that despite the challenges of COVID-19, our people-to-people ties are rebounding, and our robust commercial relationship continues to thrive. He underscores that we are working towards a more assertive North America and beyond through collaboration and shared values.
The Mexican Ambassador, Carlos Joaquín, reminded us that both countries consider each other partners and strategic allies. He underlines that It is essential for both nations to create opportunities for communication with the primary objective of enhancing the well-being of their respective populations.
For many years Comexi has been working towards a more profound, strengthened relationship between the two countries. It was in that regard that the book “Mexico and Canada: the Pending Agenda” was published ten years ago. Under the lead of Ambassador Andrés Rozental, that book was a route map, marking the main themes and areas where we needed to work harder and those that already represented opportunities. How many things have changed since then? What issues are still challenging, and what opportunities exist to exploit them? “Mexico and Canada: Two Nations in a North American Partnership” is an effort to answer those questions.
A book like this is an effort that requires help from many. At Comexi, there are several people to thank, Sergio Alcocer, Paty Zuñiga, Karla Martínez and all the members of the Mexico-Canada Unit, especially FanJua Rivas, Pía Taracena, Cristina Flores and Héctor Cárdenas. I am also very grateful to Andrés Rozental. He was the one that brought the idea of the book to the table from the beginning, and we took the challenge. Without all his advice, encouragement, recommendations and friendship, it would have been impossible to finish this accomplishment. At the CGAI, Colin Robertson was a fantastic partner, opening doors and providing ideas every time we needed them. Raúl Contreras, Dean of the Faculty of Law (UNAM), was a unique and welcoming partner. His tenacity is contagious, and I will always be grateful because his confidence in my abilities and capacities is one of the reasons why I can present this work. Thank you for your advice, your friendship and your kindness. Last but not least, I want to recognize the opinions, comments, revisions and many calls and messages from my colleagues at the Faculty of Law, especially Oscar Ramos, Marco Antonio Martínez and Montserrat Miranda. I thank the three institutions supporting this project for their support and confidence.
By providing a comprehensive understanding of the current partnership and exploring its potential for further growth and collaboration, this book seeks to inform and inspire. It offers valuable insights for strengthening trade, investment, and political ties while promoting shared democratic values and fostering a unified North America.
Solange Márquez Espinoza
Table of Contents
Ambassador Andrés Rozental
LETTER FROM COMEXI . 13
Sergio M. Alcocer
LETTER FROM CGAI . 15
Kelly J. Ogle
LETTER FROM FACULTY OF LAW, UNAM . 17
Raul Contreras Bustamante
Solange Márquez Espinoza
CANADA AND MEXICO: WORKING TOGETHER FOR A BETTER NORTH AMERICA . 25
Ambassador Graeme Clark
MEXICO-CANADA STRATEGIC TIES, AT A CRUCIAL JUNCTURE . 31
Ambassador Carlos Joaquin
CHAPTER I: ECONOMIC RELATIONS
MEXICO’S ECONOMIC FUTURE: TIME TO SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY . 39
Luis Foncerrada and Arturo Martinez
IS THE USMCA ONE REGIONAL AGREEMENT OR TWO BILATERAL ONES? PERSPECTIVES FROM MEXICO . 53
Juan Carlos Bak er and Guillermo Mendoza
MEXICO AND CANADA: SUPPORTING SUPPLY CHAINS IN NORTH AMERICA . 69
Luz María de la Mora
FRAMING A NORTH AMERICAN ENERGY SECURITY STRATEGY . 75
Joseph Calnan and Kelly Ogle
DEEPENING ENERGY RELATIONS THROUGH SHARED SOCIAL VALUES . 89
Lourdes Melgar and Katya Puga
CANADA AND MEXICO: A JOINT PERSPECTIVE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND INNOVATION . 99
Fernando Portugal Pescador
CHAPTER II: COLLABORATION AND CONNECTIVITY
MEXICO & CANADA: NEIGHBOURS BY CHOICE . 115
Juan José Gómez Camacho
BUILDING A LASTING BRIDGE: THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENTS IN SHAPING MEXICO-CANADA RELATIONS . 119
Julie Dzerowicz and Marc G. Serré
MEXICO AND CANADA: BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATING STRATEGY . 127
QUEBEC & MEXICO RELATIONS . 133
THE MEXICO-CANADA RELATIONSHIP IS WHAT IT IS, NOT WHAT WE WANT IT TO BE . 139
Carlo Dade & Agustín Barrios Gómez
MEXICO & CANADA: FROM SHARED COMMITMENT TO COMMON CHALLENGES . 145
Solange Márquez Espinoza
CHAPTER III: PEOPLE, EDUCATION AND CULTURE
MEDIA RELATIONSHIP, WHY DO WE NOT CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER? . 159
José Carreño Figueras
A BRIGHT FUTURE. THE NEW NORTH AMERICA STUDENT MOBILITY PROJECT . 167
Sergio Alcocer, Martha Navarro and Fernanda López
ACADEMIC UNDERSTANDING. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR RESEARCH . 191
Ana Eloísa Heredia García
COMMON LAW AND CIVIL LAW. UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER’S SYSTEM . 199
Julieta Ovalle Piedra
IS THERE STILL A VISION FOR A NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY? . 207
REFERENCES . 229