At NAFTA’s Platinum Anniversary: American Attitudes toward Cross-Border Ties


March 24, 2014 - In advance of the North American leaders’ summit on February 19, 2014, a Chicago Council Survey–conducted in partnership with Centro de Estudios Sociales y de Opinión Pública, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute–finds Americans and Mexicans recognize the importance of US-Mexico economic relations. While both publics tend to think the two countries are working in the same direction on trade and economic development, they are hesitant to turn their governments’ primary focus away from border and security issues.

Coinciding with NAFTA’s 20th anniversary year, President Obama along with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed trade, investment, and security issues at the summit. Survey results show that American and Mexican governments have some challenges in order to shift public attention to North American trade and energy cooperation.

The Mexican survey is based on face-to-face interviews conducted December 11 to 16, 2013, among a nationwide sample of 1,000 Mexican adults. US survey results are based on two separate surveys conducted online by GfK for The Chicago Council, the first from April 12 to 15, 2013, and the second from February 7 to 10, 2014. The samples were national and consisted of 1,017 and 1,029 Americans, respectively. Unless noted as an April 2013 survey, the American results cited are from February 2014.

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