A NAFTA World Cup in 2026

To explore the multiple layers of the vital relationship between the United States and Mexico, CPD presented the hypothetical idea of a joint bid by the two countries to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The panelists at the April 2014 event titled "Distant Neighbors to Strategic Partners," discussed how this public diplomacy initiative rooted in the economic, social, political, cultural, and demographic bonds that tie both nations together is an illuminating case of how intertwined and interdependent foreign policy and domestic policy have become for the two nations. Speakers included Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican Ambassador to the United States and CPD Distinguished Fellow, Michael Govan, CEO and Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Leon Krauze, Journalist and Host, Open Source, Fusion.net, Jorge Gonzalez, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Occidental College and Pamela Starr, Director, U.S.-Mexico Network.


  • On April 10, 2017, the United States, Mexico and Canada announced details for a joint bid for the 2026 World Cup. Read The Guardian article here.
  • Read the April 18, 2017 Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, a keynote speaker and proponent for a joint bid in CPD's original discussion here.
  • The joint US, Mexico, Canada bid was awarded on June 13 by FIFA to host the 2027 World Cup.


From Distant Neighbors to Strategic Partners: What if the U.S. & Mexico Co-Hosted 2026 World Cup?


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