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Mexico City 2015 Blog: SRE's Sergio Alcocer on North American Integration, Strides and Priorities

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Today, our societies are intertwined to the point that Mexico cannot conceive itself without being a part of North America," said Sergio Alcocer, the undersecretary of North America for Mexico's Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.

Mexico's ties to the United States are expanding, especially on the economic front. Trilateral commerce now totals more than a trillion dollars. Over the last year, Mexico-U.S. trade grew 5.5 percent, reaching $534 billion; trade with Canada reached $20 billion. Taken together, the three countries' combined GDP represent nearly 30 percent of world GDP.

Alcocer said the region has also integrated its production chains. "For every dollar Mexico exports to every country, 40 percent comes from the United States," noted the undersecretary. The two countries have made similar strides in regard to academic exchange, with 30,000 Mexican students having studied in the United States in 2014.

Climate change issues also demand regional cooperation: "There is no plan B because there is no planet B," said Alcocer. In March, both Mexico and the United States made commitments to reduce national emissions of greenhouse gases; in Mexico's case, 25 to 40 percent between 2020 and 2030. Alcocer emphasized that Mexico is commited to ongoing dialogue with Canada and the United States on energy matters, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Finally, cybersecurity is a growing threat worldwide and so far each country has acted individually to address the issue. But these efforts should be combined into a regional strategy that can counter cyber attacks, especially those that target the financial sector.