As the federal government becomes increasingly more absent and ineffective on the southern U.S. border, relationships between states and the Mexican government become important tools to fill the gap left behind. According to new research from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “Texas-Mexico Relationships: Understanding the Ties,” the relationship between Texas and Mexico is the prime example of such a relationship, helping to increase cooperation to tackle issues that the federal government has neglected.

“The state of Texas and Mexico share a long history, as well as elements of culture and, to some extent, political governance. These common traits can help overcome the divergences that also exist between the United States of America and Mexico,” the paper reads in part. “Texas, Texas municipalities and counties, and Mexican states and cities have found a variety of ways to step in to not only maintain the relationships between the two countries but also address specific common issues.”

Key Points

  • Foreign policy is the domain of the federal government in the U.S. and Mexico. However, foreign affairs or international relations are not completely out of reach of both countries’ states and their political subdivisions.
  • These local-government international relationships, sometimes called paradiplomacy, have increased around the world in the past 50 years.
  • Texas and Mexico’s states are no exceptions and, due to historical, cultural, and trade ties, they have increased cooperation to tackle local issues with or without the help of their federal government.
  • Areas of cooperation allowed and explored include economic development, cultural and educational exchanges, development of infrastructure, protection of the environment, and public health.

To read the full paper, please click here.