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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Showing posts for "Mexico"

Good Neighbors

by Shannon K. O'Neil
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, April 2, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a joint news conference with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, April 2, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

President Obama will meet tomorrow with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper for the North American Leaders’ Summit. The three leaders will take a look back on the last twenty years of regional integration, but even more importantly, they will have an opportunity to set the course for the next two decades. In this piece for Foreign Policy, I explain why working trilaterally for a North American future is more important now than ever before for the United States. Read more »

Guest Post: U.S. Students are Heading to Latin America, Just Not to Mexico

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A boy walks past a mural depicting a child shooting an RPG loaded with school supplies in Ciudad Juarez February 10, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). A boy walks past a mural depicting a child shooting an RPG loaded with school supplies in Ciudad Juarez February 10, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Stephanie Leutert, a research associate here at the Council on Foreign Relations, who works with me in the Latin America Studies program.

Secretary John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden recently announced the new State Department directed 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund. It ambitiously aims to have 100,000 U.S. students in Latin America and 100,000 Latin American students in the United States by 2020. This initiative builds on the increasing interest in the region; during the 2011-2012 school year over 44,000 U.S. students headed south. Still these growing numbers hide the changing geographic interests, including the increasing popularity of Brazil and Costa Rica and the steep declines in semesters abroad in Mexico. Read more »

North America’s Economic Integration

by Shannon K. O'Neil
General Motors auto workers load the new Chevrolet Camaro for delivery, at the company's Oshawa Ontario facility, April 8, 2009 (Fred Thornhill/Courtesy Reuters). General Motors auto workers load the new Chevrolet Camaro for delivery, at the company's Oshawa Ontario facility, April 8, 2009 (Fred Thornhill/Courtesy Reuters).

Alan Berube and Joseph Parilla at the Brookings Institution recently published a report on the impressive amount of North American regional trade (with a great interactive that traces exports and imports across the continent). U.S. cities send and receive over $500 billion in goods from Mexican and Canadian cities—out of a total $1.1 trillion in intra-regional trade in 2012. The vast majority (some 69 percent) of this trade is in advanced industries (aerospace, automotive, electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals, and precision instruments), an economic bright spot in the recovering U.S. economy. Here is a quick look at just how vital the United States’ regional trading ties are for its economic strength and competitiveness. Read more »

U.S. Passes the Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement with Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil
The "Lolair" drilling platform from state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) is seen off the port of Veracruz, Mexico June 7, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). The "Lolair" drilling platform from state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) is seen off the port of Veracruz, Mexico June 7, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

Tacked onto the bipartisan budget, the U.S. Congress passed the long-awaited Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement with Mexico. Signed in 2012 by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa, it lays the groundwork for U.S. and Mexican cooperation across some 1.5 million acres of shared oil and natural gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement creates guidelines for determining the scope of the deep-water fields and how companies acting on behalf of each country can work together to access these reserves, and creates mechanisms for dispute resolution and for safety and environmental protection. Read more »

Viva las Reformas

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto waves the national flag after he shouted the "Cry of Independence" as Mexico marks the 203rd anniversary of the day rebel priest Manuel Hidalgo set it on the path to independence in Mexico City September 15, 2013 (Tomas Bravo/Courtesy Reuters). Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto waves the national flag after he shouted the "Cry of Independence" as Mexico marks the 203rd anniversary of the day rebel priest Manuel Hidalgo set it on the path to independence in Mexico City September 15, 2013 (Tomas Bravo/Courtesy Reuters).

President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration finished off an ambitious first-year reform agenda this past week, pushing historic energy and political reforms through Mexico’s Congress. These reforms—and the earlier labor, education, fiscal, and telecommunication reforms—aim to boost economic growth (which slowed to 1 percent over the past year) and entice foreign investment in once closed-off sectors. Here is a piece that I wrote for the January/February 2014 edition of Foreign Affairs on why, especially given the recent changes, Mexico is a hot market that investors will want to watch. Read more »

Mexico’s Historic Energy Reform

by Shannon K. O'Neil
The logo of Mexican petroleum company Pemex is seen on a tank gas at gas station in Mexico City, November 23, 2012 (Edgard Garrido/Courtesy Reuters). The logo of Mexican petroleum company Pemex is seen on a tank gas at gas station in Mexico City, November 23, 2012 (Edgard Garrido/Courtesy Reuters).

Listening to the fireworks for the Virgen de Guadalupe last night from my hotel room in Mexico City, one could have mistaken them for the tumult occurring at the same time in the House of Representatives. Right before midnight, the representatives passed, by a two-thirds majority, the principles of energy reform (following the Senate’s approval earlier in the day). Read more »

Many Stories, One Juárez

by Shannon K. O'Neil
People release white doves after a religious service celebrated in Ciudad Juárez, January 30, 2011 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). People release white doves after a religious service celebrated in Ciudad Juárez, January 30, 2011 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

I had the great honor of participating in a fundraiser in El Paso last week—organized by the Somos Fund—to support after school programs and scholarships for kids affected by violence in Ciudad Juárez. It has now been almost four years since the Villas de Salvárcar massacre, where gunmen burst into a birthday party and gunned down fifteen young people in what was a case of horrifying mistaken identity. Since then, the families have channeled their grief into improving Ciudad Juárez for the many youths still living there, and the funds raised at the event will go toward supporting their work. (You can also donate here by typing Somos Fund under the project name). Read more »

Mexico on the Brink

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Federal riot police stand guard outside the alternative senate building in Mexico City, October 23, 2008 (Daniel Aguilar / Courtesy Reuters). Federal riot police stand guard outside the alternative senate building in Mexico City, October 23, 2008 (Daniel Aguilar / Courtesy Reuters).

A few weeks ago, the Legatum Institute’s released its global Prosperity Index—which I wrote about here—that took both macro-economic indicators and social well-being into consideration. In the Index, Mexico’s rankings were solidly mixed—landing in the bottom quarter in security but jumping to the upper tier in measures of its economy. In a longer piece I wrote for Legatum, titled “Mexico on the Brink,” I take a more in-depth look at Mexico’s varied performance, outlining where the country is doing well and where it needs some improvement. It begins: Read more »

Discussing Mexico at the Texas Book Festival

by Shannon K. O'Neil
C-SPAN2 C-SPAN2

This past Sunday I was in Austin, Texas at the Texas Book Festival. I had the honor of moderating a panel about two great books on Mexico, Ricardo Ainslie’s The Fight to Save Juárez – Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War and Alfredo Corchado’s Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness. You can watch a video of our conversation here (starting at 5:15), courtesy of C-SPAN2.