Mexico's oil and U.S. policy : implications for the 1980s : executive briefing

by David Ronfeldt

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This report documents an executive briefing given to the Board of Trustees of The RAND Corporation. Focusing on newly discovered liquid petroleum reserves, it predicts what Mexico will do with its oil and it suggests how the United States can best respond to Mexico's actions. It is limited to an examination of Mexico's oil, and excludes consideration of Mexico's natural gas reserves. Mexico's behavior will probably agree with U.S. interests in most of the issues examined. There are potential problems arising out of Mexico's possible decisions concerning the installation of emergency oil production capacity, the development of nuclear energy as an alternative power source, and the invocation of protectionist trade barriers. The research points to one overall principle: to be successful, U.S. policy must respond as much to Mexico's sense of sovereignty as to what Americans regard as economic rationality.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.