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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The mission of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego, is to support multidisciplinary research on Mexico, U.S.-Mexican relations, and Mexican-origin populations in North America. The Center also sponsors comparative studies with substantial Mexico components. Beyond serving the University of California, the Center pursues close collaboration with Mexican institutions. As the premier institution of its kind, the Center seeks broad dissemination of its findings in order to inform public and scholarly debates in both Mexico and the United States.

The Director of the Center is Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, who received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University and is an associate professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UCSD.

Cover page of NAFTA, Trade, and Development

NAFTA, Trade, and Development


In this chapter, we analyze the expectations and the realities about the economic impact of NAFTA on Mexico in terms of economic convergence, trade, investment, employment, wages, and income distribution. We show that NAFTA has basically failed to fulfill the promise of closing the Mexico-U.S. development gap, and we argue that this was due in part to the lack of deeper forms of regional integration or cooperation between Mexico and the United States. We also explore other factors that could explain this negative outcome, and we briefly discuss the opportunities for both Mexico and the United States to mutually benefit from a further economic integration process.

Cover page of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources

Environmental Protection and Natural Resources


Environmental issues and the management of natural resources have become a significant element of the binational relationship between Mexico and the United States during the last three decades. The environmental challenges now shaping the bilateral agenda for environmental cooperation are formidable and their address engages a rich and diverse set of institutions and stakeholders at multiple levels of government across the international boundary. This chapter studies environmental issues relevant to the two countries in the 21st century and suggests policy strategies to address them. The first part of the chapter discuss relevant environmental issues common to Mexico and the United States and their potential implications for their relationship in the short and long term. The second part analyzes binational efforts created to manage environmental issues and provide a critical perspective of their strengths and shortcomings. The last section of the chapter suggests recommendations to address those environmental challenges in the 21st century.