The project team hosted twelve focus groups spanning all of the US-Mexico border states as a critical part of the data collection process for the study. These dialogues, between the team and the 150 border leaders and experts who to attended the sessions, provided an additional layer of insight into the border issues. It revealed the potential benefits of greater cooperation and the associated challenges.
Dr. Ray Perryman, leader of the research team states,
“Much of the analysis we are doing is purely quantitative in nature and will reveal patterns of potential opportunities in a systematic manner. However, no mathematics, no matter how rigorous, can substitute for the insights, wisdom, and knowledge of those who live and work along the border every day. There are limits to what numbers can tell you, and we are excitedly looking to these key leaders to give us ‘the rest of the story.”
Maintaining NAFTA and continuing to expand the linkage among the ten Border States will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in annual Gross Domestic Product in the United States and Mexico. The study shows that expanding border trade will bring 700,000 New Jobs and $70 Billion in Annual Gross Product in the United States and 100,000 New Jobs & $5 Billion in Annual Gross Product in Mexico. It is a win-win for the economies of both nations.