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Boosting U.S.-Mexico Clean Energy Cooperation

Boosting U.S.-Mexico Clean Energy Cooperation

Full Title: Boosting U.S.-Mexico Clean Energy Cooperation
Author(s): Joel Martinez
Publisher(s): Center for American Progress
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

The United States and its southern neighbor enjoy deep levels of interconnectivity, including economic, political, security, and cultural ties. These are the results of countless policy, business, and personal choices that fundamentally differentiate the United States’ relationship with Mexico from its relationship with all other countries in the world except Canada. Among these connections are complex, cross-border supply chains that have become the norm in a growing number of industries. This integration creates clear opportunities to benefit both the United States and Mexico across a broad set of public interests. One such area of opportunity is deepening cross-border renewable energy production and distribution.

By using existing North American trade and production systems, where goods cross the border multiple times during the production process, the United States has an opportunity to enhance its manufacturing of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the United States and install them along the Northern deserts of Mexico to engage in cross-border solar energy generation and transmission. Such development of price-reduction and deployment strategies would not only benefit U.S. solar PV manufacturing, it would also boost exports and U.S. clean energy production. In addition, it would benefit producers and consumers on both sides of the border who would gain access to affordable and more environmentally friendly forms of electricity. Constructive cooperation in the renewable energy sector could also help shore up the United States’ most important binational relationship at a time of heightened stress created by the current U.S. administration’s negative rhetoric and policies affecting Mexico.

As in any effort to deepen cross-border economic engagement, such cooperation must address the legitimate concerns—in both countries—about the implications of U.S.-Mexico integration and associated economic dislocations. Although it is critical that fundamental U.S. orientation toward the world must be to stay engaged—particularly with Mexico—policymakers must address public policy failures, especially important shortcomings in U.S. domestic economic policies that have not done nearly enough to create opportunities for important sectors of American workers adversely affected by globalization. In short, policymakers must ensure that cross-border economic activity contribute to and take place in a context of broader public policies that support a vibrant, inclusive, middle-class democracy in the United States.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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