Experts argue that Mexico affects daily life in the United States more than any other country. For years, U.S. and Mexican officials have attempted to tackle immigration, trade, and security challenges, and their success has depended on cooperation. With so much at stake, Why It Matters investigates the complex relationship and the factors that threaten it. 


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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Mariana Campero
    Senior Associate (Non-resident), Americas Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies
  • Shannon K. O'Neil
    Vice President, Deputy Director of Studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies

Show Notes

Headlines often paint a one-dimensional story centered on immigration when reporting on U.S.-Mexico ties. But the partnership is complex, spanning trade, economics, immigration, security, environmental issues, and climate change. Cooperation is critical in each of these areas, and for years, Washington has benefited from friendly relations with Mexico City. With stable and amicable partners across its borders, the United States has been able to focus its attention elsewhere, an advantage many other countries do not share. 


However, democratic backsliding, economic nationalism, and a new wave of corruption in Mexico threaten the relationship that has been foundational to U.S. success. 


Dig Deeper 


From CFR


Lopez Obrador Is Dismantling Democracy in Mexico,” Shannon K. O’Neil


Migrants at the U.S. Border: How Biden’s Approach Differs From Trump’s,” Shannon K. O’Neil


Mexico’s Lopez Obrador Is Stoking Corruption, Not Fighting It,” Shannon K. O’Neil


Mexico’s Long War: Drugs, Crime, and the Cartels,” Editors


Mexico’s Women Push Back on Gender-Based Violence,” Amelia Cheatham


From Mariana Campero


Mexico’s Midterm Elections Matter to the United States,” CSIS


Complying with the USMCA is the New Priority,” Mexico Matters


Democracy: The Biggest Winner in Mexico’s Midterms,” Mexico Matters


Read More


U.S. officials will negotiate a new security deal with Mexico during talks Friday,” NPR


US immigration: Thousands gather under bridge at US-Mexico border in growing crisis,” BBC


Developing a roadmap for USMCA success,” Brookings Institution 


Mexican president says to speak with Biden about climate change,” Reuters


A Political Circus,” Human Rights Watch


Watch and Listen


What’s Happening At The U.S.-Mexico Border?” NPR’s Fresh Air


USMCA vs NAFTA, explained with a toy car,” Vox


What’s Causing the Central American Migration Crisis?” History


Mexico’s Forever War Against Drug Cartels,” Vice News Reports


Mexico’s Cartels Are Deadlier Than Ever Despite the Pandemic,” Vice News


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