Mexico Matters

By Center for Strategic and International Studies

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The Mexico Matters podcast series highlights key developments in Mexico and their impact on the United States.

Episode Date
Idyllic Love vs Pragmatism: Why President Lopez Obrador Chose Cuba Over the U.S.
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Ricardo Pascoe, the former Mexican ambassador to Cuba. They discuss the political and economic conditions that exist in the island and why—despite the recent crackdowns on dissent and the economic collapse of the Cuban communist model—President López Obrador has decided to side with President Díaz Canel over President Biden to build a closer relationship.
Jun 22, 2022
Immigration Reform Gridlock with Congressman Filemon Vela Jr.
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with former congressman Filemon Vela Jr. from Texas about how the immigration debate has overshadowed the complete U.S.-Mexico relationship, despite its vastness and importance for the livelihoods of millions on both sides of the border. They also discuss how internal politics have proved a formidable barrier to smart immigration reform, which impacts the United States’ need for laborers and the competitiveness of North America.
May 18, 2022
Mexico Debuts as a Unicorn Maker
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Luis Cervantes, managing director and head of General Atlantic's Mexico City office; Adolfo Babats, CEO of CLIP, one of the first unicorns to emerge from Mexico; and Ricardo Amper, CEO of Incode. They discuss the opportunity that private equity and other investors have identified in Mexico and Latin America and how entrepreneurs are using technology to create thriving businesses that are turning some of the big problems and market deficiencies in the region into enormous opportunities for growth.
Apr 14, 2022
The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Mexico's former Foreign Minister, Jorge Castañeda, about Mexico's unwillingness to impose any economic sanctions on Russia for the war against Ukraine. Castañeda also explains why anti-Americanism in the region has allowed President Putin to find certain support from Mexico, Brazil, and other Latin American countries.
Mar 08, 2022
A Cheat Sheet of AMLO: What Has Mattered and What to Expect
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Luis Rubio, Luis de la Calle, Lourdes Melgar, Jorge Tello Peón, and Julian Ventura; five renowned Mexican experts who provide a report card of President Lopez Obrador´s first three years in office from a political, economic, energy, security, and diplomatic perspective. They also share their analysis as to what we can expect for the second half of this Administration: it will require a clean-up!
Jan 05, 2022
Managing the Pull Factors
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute. They discuss the record number and diversity of migrants, the importance for the U.S. to be able to control its border, and the need to build a 21st-century immigration system that is both humane and attracts the required high, mid, and lower skill talents to grow and increase competitiveness.
Dec 03, 2021
Rebalancing Relationships with Former USTR Robert Lighthizer
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with former United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about USMCA and the principles and goals that guided its creation versus the old NAFTA. They also discuss the benefits and limits of the North American market, the issues behind supply chain disruptions, the importance of protecting jobs and livelihoods, and why Mexico matters to the United States.
Oct 22, 2021
Mexico, a Complement or an Inhibitor of North American Competitiveness?
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with General David Petraeus, partner of KKR, Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, and former CIA Director, about Mexico's potential to enhance the United States' competitiveness as it relocates supply chains closer to home, and competes against China. They analyze some of the recent actions taken by the Mexican government that have made investors worry and government officials question the reliability of Mexico as a partner in this grand strategy. 
Aug 12, 2021
Democracy: The Biggest Winner in Mexico’s Midterms
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Ambassador Antonio Garza, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, and Gabriel Lozano, chief economist of J.P. Morgan Mexico, about Mexico’s midterm elections which were held on June 6th. They analyze the new equilibrium of power, the priorities of President Lopez Obrador, and how these affect the short and medium-term outlooks for Mexico.
Jun 15, 2021
Stop the Flow
In this episode, host Mariana Campero speaks with Ambassador Andres Rozental, former deputy foreign minister of Mexico, and Ryan Berg, senior fellow in the CSIS Americas Program. They discuss the perfect storm propelling the recent migration wave to the U.S.-Mexican border and emphasize how the current policies of the Lopez-Obrador administration are damaging U.S. investments and other interests, producing a negative effect on migration.
May 05, 2021
Burning Down the House: Is Mexico’s Energy Reversal Hindering Our Competitiveness?
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Dr. Lourdes Melgar, non-resident fellow at the Baker Institute and Mexico’s former Deputy Secretary of Energy, and Ben Cahill, Senior Fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at CSIS. They discuss the impact that Mexico’s energy counter-reforms will have on U.S. interests, North American competitiveness, and the transition to cleaner use of energy. 
Mar 09, 2021
To Cooperate Or Not: What is Mexico’s Security Strategy?
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with security and intelligence experts Jorge Tello Peon and Juan Cruz about the efficacy of Mexico’s new security strategy, which saw more than 34,000 homicides last year—the highest in the country’s history despite the pandemic lockdowns. They also discussed recent actions that have undermined trust and cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico. Are our two countries more than neighbors—are we roommates? 
Mar 02, 2021
Complying with the USMCA is the New Priority
In this episode, Mariana Campero speaks with Ken Smith, Mexico’s Chief USMCA negotiator and with the CSIS Trade Guys, Scott Miller and Bill Reinsch, about the new USMCA— which was signed two years ago by President Lopez Obrador. They dive deep into how some of his policies run counter to the spirit of free competition and risk hindering US investments and other key interests. They also discuss the focus on compliance by the new Biden Administration and how protectionist measures on both sides can affect the overall competitiveness of North America.
Feb 23, 2021
Waking Up To a New Reality: Where is Mexico Heading?
In this first episode, Mariana is joined by Kim Breier, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere, and Luis de la Calle, a Mexican economist and the former Undersecretary at the Ministry of Economy who headed the NAFTA negotiations. They discuss how the economic and political priorities of the Mexican government can not only undermine confidence among investors but also hinder U.S. national interests.
Feb 17, 2021