By The Center for Binational Institutions *
Strong institutions are essential to the relationship between Mexico and the United States. They bind both nations together, help address conflict and opportunity, and facilitate follow up on issues of shared interest. Institutions can also help integrate diverse stakeholders and interests into the day-today work of the bilateral relationship.
Over time, the number of academics, news reporters and think-tanks whose work focuses on the U.S. – Mexico relationship has increased considerably. This is positive and only reflects the fact that it has become much more important for both countries. On a daily basis, we can access new information on specific issues on any one of the main tracks of the bilateral relationship: trade, investment and economic cooperation, inmigration and security and law enforcement cooperation. However, and despite its importance, the “institutional architecture” that helps manage day-to-day affairs has been less studied in itself. The Center for Binational Institutions (CBI), a new initiative by the U.S. Mexico-Foundation aims to approach these issues from an institutional perspective and to provide a new tool for their analysis and better understanding through the CBI institutional framework. The CBI focuses its work on the study of four types of bilateral institutions: agreements, organizations, dialogue mechanisms, and programs, that exist between governments, the private sector, and civil society.
This next September 30th, the CBI First Annual Seminar will take place. The seminar will serve as the launching event for the CBI, and will also pave the way for roundtable follow-up events throughout the rest of 2021 and 2022. It will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss the importance of the role played by institutions in the U.S. – Mexico bilateral relationship. It will be composed of two panels, the first one on the Role of institutions in U.S. – Mexico Relationship, and the second one on the Specific Areas of the U.S. – Mexico Institutional Architecture. The program and participants can be consulted at https://www.usmexcbi.org/seminar.
The CBI’s emphasis on institutions poses great potential for the AMLO-Biden bilateral relationship. To advance the bilateral agenda and tackle bilateral issues, cooperation among the two nations is a must. Both Mexico and the United States need a stronger partnership where rules and expectations are clear, which can be achieved through institutions.
* The Center for Binational Institutions’ mission is to promote a better understanding of the bilateral institutions between Mexico and the United States. It is a program by the U.S. – Mexico Foundation. The U.S.-Mexico Foundation is a binational non-profit organization dedicated to fostering bilateral cooperation and improving the understanding between the United States and Mexico by activating key people in the relationship that once were dormant. Twitter: @usmexicofound