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JUL 2015

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106 JULY 2015 S I T E S E L E C T I O N U S - M E X I C O B O R D E R C O R R I D O R The US-Mexico Border Economy In Transition T hroughout 2014, our coalition of organizations held four U.S.-Mexico Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums. Te efort involved the Border Legislative Conference, the Council of State Governments West, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars' Mexico Institute, the North American Research Partnership, members of the Congressional Border Caucus, and USAID-Mexico, and took us to San Diego/Tijuana, Nogales/Nogales, El Paso/Ciudad Juárez, and Laredo/Nuevo Laredo. "When we fail to defne the border, we allow [others] to defne the border for us," Congressman Beto O'Rourke told nearly 600 attendees at the fnal Forum in El Paso. Defning a region as diverse and complex as the U.S.-Mexico border, however, is no easy task. From the Pacifc Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, from small rural agricultural and ranching communities to large urban centers of innovation and advanced manufacturing, the border is based in both tradition and the crossing of boundaries. It is both Mexico and the United States; yet it is something more. It is in this "something more," the fusion of cultures, geographies, and economies, that the common voice of the region is found. Transitions and Opportunities Interdependence is a natural state of afairs along the border. In no area is this clearer than in the economic development and competitiveness of the region. Trough the development of systems of co-production, the United States and Mexico do not simply buy and sell goods from one another, but rather manufacture them together. Based in such deep economic integration, new economic b y E R I K L E E a n d C H R I S T O P H E R W I L S O N e d i t o r @ s i t e s e l e c t i o n . c o m

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