Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

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A Seamless North American Market

by Shannon K. O'Neil
March 12, 2013

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers inspect vehicles entering the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro boarding crossing in San Ysidro, California, March 1, 2013. (Mike Blake/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers inspect vehicles entering the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro boarding crossing in San Ysidro, California, March 1, 2013. (Mike Blake/Courtesy Reuters).

The Council on Foreign Relations released a new policy innovation memorandum today by American University professor Bob Pastor. The paper, “Shortcut to U.S. Economic Competitiveness: A Seamless North American Market,” puts forth a plan for the United States’ economic recovery that depends on America’s neighbors and closest economic partners—Mexico and Canada.

Instead of looking for trade partnerships on more distant shores, Pastor makes a case for why the United States should streamline economic relations nearby, working to create a seamless North American market. He emphasizes the need for closer cooperation on issues including antitrust, immigration, and energy, as well as for more coordination and investment in infrastructure and transportation. With the framework already in place from NAFTA, the memo explains why deepening North American integration is not only an easier path for improving U.S. competitiveness and economic prowess—it is also the best.

To read the full memorandum, click here.

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