While Donald Trump decides just how high he thinks a border wall should be, Mexican and U.S. officials are busy focusing on how to deepen ties. On February 24 and 25, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden heads to Mexico City for the latest round of the High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), a cabinet-level platform kicked off in 2013 with the goal of boosting bilateral economic cooperation.
The HLED builds on strong bonds. Two-way trade hit $531 billion in 2015, marking a more than fivefold increase since the 1994 implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico ranks as the United States’ third-biggest trade partner, behind Canada and China. But it’s arguable that U.S.-Mexican supply chains are more tightly integrated: a 2010 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that U.S. components make up 40 percent of Mexican exports to the United States. For comparison’s sake, that figure runs at 25 percent for Canadian imports and 4 percent for Chinese ones.
But the connections go beyond trade in goods. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans account for more than 10 percent of the U.S. population, and Americans travel more to Mexico than any other foreign destination.
AS/COA Online looks at the numbers behind the bilateral relationship.