United States and Mexico: Face to Face with New Technology

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Overview

Rapid technological advance is fast changing the nature of the relationship between the industrial countries and the advanced developing countries. This volume explores the meanings of this change close to home-as it affects the U.S.-Mexican relationship.

What is the impact of the new technology on trade, investment, and labor flows between the United States and Mexico? Will development of a stronger Mexican industrial sector constitute an aid or a threat to specific U.S. industries? While demand for the middle-technology goods that countries such as Mexico can produce is growing in the United States, the debt crisis and the high dollar make procuring the high-technology capital goods necessary for this effort difficult and expensive.

An overview essay explores the impact of technological change upon conflicts between the economic and political objectives of the two countries and ways in which the coordination of national politics might be maximized. The authors—representing a mix of government and business experience in both countries—offer specific recommendations on improving the efficiency of bilateral economic interaction, reducing the adjustment costs of technological change, and avoiding diplomatic tensions between the nations. Policy analysts examine the bilateral implications of the development strategies pursued by Mexico and the United States, the role played by domestic interest groups in the formation of these strategies, and the impact of technological change in the labor force along the border. Industry specialists examine changes in the automotive industry, the electric and electronics industries, bio-technological change in agriculture and nutrition, and the pharmaceutical and pharmochemical industries.

Cathryn L. Thorup is the director of the Overseas Development Council's U.S.-Mexico Project, a policy-oriented, Washington-based forum for the exchange of ideas among key actors in the bilateral relationship. She is the author of many articles on conflict management in the U.S. Mexican policies toward Central America. Between 1980 and 1982, Ms. Thorup wrote regularly on international politics for the Mexican news magazine, Ranoes.

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