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There are many social and economic ties that bind the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Certainly, our integrated supply chains, multinational businesses, and linkages between families and friends spread throughout the continent undergird the relationship. It is our borders, however, that literally serve as the ties that bind us. The extent to which those borders enable goods, people, and services to flow between the three countries drives much of our ability not only to remain competitive on a global stage, but also to pursue an integrated North America.

This essay is part of the series, "Strengthening North American Ties - A Must For Competitiveness," by the Wilson Center's Mexico and Canada Institutes. 

About the Author

Laurie Trautman

Laurie Trautman

Global Fellow;
Director, Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more

Canada Institute

Bound by common geopolitical interests and strong economic and cultural ties, Canada and the United States enjoy the world's most successful bilateral relationship. The Wilson Center's Canada Institute is the only public policy forum in the world dedicated to the full spectrum of Canada-U.S. issues. The Canada Institute is a global leader for policymakers, academics and business leaders to engage in non-partisan, informed dialogue about the current and future state of the relationship.     Read more