Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

US-made goods, and the big-box stores that sell them, such as Wal-Mart and Costco, are becoming extremely popular with Mexico's growing middle class. This sales is helping to make Mexico a serious contender with Canada for the title of the US' second-largest trading partner. And it's not just one-sided: Since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, US-Mexico trade has increased significantly, with Mexican exports jumping up to $263 billion in 2011.

What's the Big Idea?

Mexican and US companies work together in various industries, including aerospace and auto parts manufacturing. The mix of parts and labor between the two countries is much greater as well, due partially to simple proximity. Also, according to a consulting group, "about 6 million US jobs depend on trade with Mexico," with states such as Texas and Iowa exporting millions of dollars' worth of items. The success of this business relationship has some experts thinking that the US should take some of its focus off China's growth and pay more attention to Mexico's, for the benefit of both countries. One expert says plainly, "The better off Mexico is, the better off we are."

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