The United States and Mexico in the Trump Era


Event Summary This event has passed.

After a tumultuous first year of the Trump administration, the US-Mexico relationship—arguably the most critical and sensitive bilateral relationship in the Western Hemisphere—has changed significantly. While many of the most pessimistic initial predictions on trade, migration, and other cooperative efforts have not come to pass, most analysts agree that the tone and quality of relations have deteriorated. Uncertainty continues to define the renegotiation talks for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the status of many Mexican immigrants in the United States, and the future of US-Mexico border and security cooperation. Meanwhile, July’s presidential election in Mexico threatens to inject even more upheaval into the relationship. How should the changing dynamics be understood? And what is at stake in the relationship going forward? 

El Colegio de México, Tulane University, and the Inter-American Dialogue are pleased to host a high-level conference on the complex and evolving dynamics between the two countries. This US-Mexico forum brings together top tier academic and policy experts from both countries for an open debate on the path forward for the relationship. 

Follow this event on Twitter at #USMXForum and @The_Dialogue.

Introduction: A Complex Relationship in Perspective
How should the current moment be understood in relation to past eras in US-Mexico relations? What enduring challenges and tensions have been magnified by the current situation? What are the stakes at play in the relationship?

9:00 – 9:30 am Moderator: Michael Shifter
President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)
  Speakers: Carla Hills
Former US Trade Representative; Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Co-Chair, Inter-American Dialogue
    Arturo Sarukhan
Former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States; Board Member, Inter-American Dialogue (@Arturo_Sarukhan)

Session I: The Road Ahead for NAFTA 
What have been the economic consequences of NAFTA? What would be the consequences for the two/three countries of abandoning NAFTA? Which groups of people would suffer most? Are there alternative options that could help blunt the impact of a total collapse? What are the prospects for a modernized NAFTA that can benefit the US and Mexico, as well as Canada? Is there still room for agreement between the three sides? What would such a refurbished agreement look like?

9:30 – 10:45 am Moderator: Nora Lustig
Professor of Latin American Economics, Tulane University; Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Inter-American Dialogue (@noralustig)
  Speakers: Gary Gereffi
Professor and Director of the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness, Duke University (@GaryGereffi)
    Doug Nelson
Professor, Murphy Institute of Political Economy, Tulane University
    Luis de la Calle
Managing Director and Founding Partner at De la Calle, Madrazo, Mancera (CMM) (@eledece)

10:45 – 11:00 am             Break

Session II: Migration Dynamics and Policy Under Trump
How much has US migration policy changed under Trump? What are the consequences for Mexicans in Mexico and in the United States? How important are policy changes on DACA and other issues for broader US-Mexican relations? How have migration flows changed in the last year? What are the likely causes? How lasting can we expect those changes to be? What further changes in US policy can be expected in the coming years? 

11:00 – 12:15 pm Moderator: Silvia Giorguli
President, El Colegio de México (@Ssaucedo5050)
  Speakers: Francisco Alba
Professor, Center for Demographic, Urban, and Environmental Studies, El Colegio de México
    Marc Rosenblum
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Immigration Statistics, US Department of Homeland Security
    Andrew Selee
President, Migration Policy Institute (@SeleeAndrew)


Lunch Conversation: Anticipating the Mexican Presidential Elections 
What factors are likely to determine the election? How likely are the various candidates to win? How important is the relationship with the US for Mexican voters? Which issue is of greatest relevance and concern? What are the potential changes in policy and diplomacy that the election could bring? 

12:15 – 1:45 pm Moderator: Jean François Prud’homme
Director, Center for International Studies, El Colegio de México
  Speaker: Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez 
Professor, School of Government and Public Transformation, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (@jshm00)


Session III: The Future of Security and Border Cooperation
How have U.S.-Mexican security relations changed under Trump? How have they remained the same? What are the consequences for Mexico, Central America, and the United States? What is the status and outlook for cooperation against organized crime and violence in Mexico? Has border cooperation been impacted, or is it likely to be in the future? What is the situation at the Mexican border with Guatemala and Belize? 

1:45 – 3:00 pm Moderator: Francisco Gonzalez
Senior Associate Professor of Latin American Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  Speakers: Eric Olson
Deputy Director, Latin American Program, & Senior Advisor, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center (@Eric_Latam)
    Celia Toro
Professor and Coordinator of the Mexico-United States-Canada Program, Center for International Studies, El Colegio de México
    Kevin Casas-Zamora
Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law, Inter-American Dialogue (@KevinCasasZ)


This event is hosted in partnership with El Colegio de Mexico and Tulane University

This conference is free and open to the public. Please note that discussion will be held in both English and Spanish.