March 5, 2018 –Various members of academia from the U.S. and Mexico gathered digitally and in person for a roundtable discussion titled, "The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations" last week in the Albertus Room at the University of Houston Law Center.
The binational, multi-institutional and multidisciplinary seminar was organized by the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law.
The project's other five partner institutions are the Mexico Center at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, Escuela de Gobierno y Transformacion Publica, Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Facultad de Derecho y Criminologia, Universidad Autonoma Nuevo Leon, the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University and Universidad Iberoamericana's Departamento de Estudios Internacionales.
Among the topics discussed were intergovernmental relations, public safety and security cooperation, military to military relations, environmental cooperation and natural resources, trade and economic integration, migration and demographic trends, the U.S. Mexico border and economics, energy integration, binational health issues, agro-food, cultural, social, political trends in both countries, and paradiplomacy between local governments.
Alfonso López de la Osa Escribano, Director of the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, Professor Tony Payan, Director of the Mexico Center at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, and Professor Jesus Velasco from Tarleton University, said the research of this project aims to play out the possible outcomes moving beyond the current political climate, and looking for likely legal, political, social and economic outcomes. The intention is to go beyond the next four years and factoring the political outcomes of Mexico's presidential elections in 2018 by doing a prospective and foresight methodologic exercise by projecting eminent authors in the next 25 years in order to set a number of recommendations for decision-makers and influencers.
Payan, predicts a contentious Mexican presidential election, with the relationship between U.S. and Mexico being a key campaign issue
"Given the political conditions in Washington D.C., and the election in Mexico, it is important to focus on possible outcomes going into the next 25 years," Payan said. "This little-known methodology in academic research is an intellectual exercise that could be of great advantage for the future binational relation between the United States and Mexico."
Velasco highlighted the project's uniqueness because it combines the expertise of American and Mexican scholars, and directs the participating institutions toward a common academic goal. It will attempt to go dive deeper than the classical narratives about the historical problems between the U.S. and Mexico by conducting a serious analysis of issues both countries will face in the next two decades.
In addition to López de la Osa Escribano, additional Law Center participants were Assistant Professor Julian Cardenas Garcia and Associate Professor Gina Warren who provided predictions on the energy and oil and gas industries.
Others attendees were Professor Isidro Morales from the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Associate Professor Eva Moya from the University of Texas El Paso, Nathan Jones from Sam Houston Univeristy, Daniel Tichenor from the University of Oregon and Lisa Guaqueta from the Mexico Center at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.