Nevada has some of the highest gas prices in the nation, and they may get higher if the county’s fuel revenue index tax is extended. So finding cheaper sources of oil can help all of us. Fortunately, our neighbor to the south is doing just that.

What many may not know is that 7.5 percent of our oil imports come from Mexico. In terms of U.S. imports, Mexico is close behind Saudi Arabia in third place. So it’s important to note that Mexico recently passed significant legislation that will open the country’s energy powerhouse to international investments. Even though our nations enjoy a good trading relationship, we can increase the growth of our economies and the well-being of our citizens by capitalizing on this new reform that opens the energy sector and its potential.

Oil is one of many industries turning Mexico into an economic powerhouse. The oil industry has opened its doors to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years. Mexico has significant oil and gas reserves and presents the opportunity for North America to be completely energy self-sufficient. This reform will not just open the doors for our investors, but also will benefit our workforce in industries such as technology, machinery manufacturing, energy and many others.

Our neighbor is changing fast, and the facts bear that out.

In an era in which the world is more connected by technology and trade than ever, there is one partnership that has endured decades despite their “sour-sweet” relationship: Mexico and the United States. These two countries have enjoyed a unique and flourishing relationship over past decades that has improved the lifestyle of millions of people in both nations.

The U.S.-Mexico partnership offers many significant benefits to the United States, and this relationship is, in fact, crucial to the future prosperity of both nations. Two thousand miles of border and more than $580 billion in trade makes our countries more than neighbors. Mexico is the third largest trading partner of the U.S., just behind China and Canada.

Trade between both countries has been improving at an exponential rate since the 1990s. U.S. exports to Mexico in 2013 were $226 billion, up 443 percent since 1993. In fact, Mexico buys more U.S. goods than all of the country members of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) combined. Moreover, 6 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Mexico. Even Mexican exports benefit the American economy: 40 percent of the value of Mexican exports to the U.S. contain American inputs.

Aside from Mexico being one of the United States’ largest trade partners, our two countries enjoy a close and fraternal relationship that surpasses a simple business connection. Our economies and markets are intertwined: Growth in Mexico matters for America and vice-versa. They are also closely connected demographically, with more than 1 million U.S. citizens living in Mexico and Mexico being the largest source of immigrants to the United States.

The U.S. and Mexico’s trade is growing by the day. Every year, Mexicans are buying more goods and services produced in the U.S. and that is helping create jobs and support businesses here in the U.S. As Mexico continues to develop economically and Mexican citizens enhance their buying power, the demand for U.S. goods will continue to be on the rise. Sales of services in Mexico by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $43.4 billion in 2013 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority Mexico-owned firms were $7.5 billion.

Our nation’s relationship is also growing in the area of investments. U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico was $107.8 billion in 2014 (latest data available), a 5.3 percent increase from 2013. In the U.S., nonbank holding companies lead in direct investment for the manufacturing, and finance/insurance industries. Mexico’s FDI in the United States (stock) was $17.7 billion in 2014 (latest data available), up 4.0 percent from 2013. Mexican manufacturing, wholesale trade, and depository institutions are the leading industries in direct investment in the U.S.

So in a world that looks more interconnected and a North America that is growing in population and its potential, we need to work on negotiating good and fair treaties with Mexico. The United States and Mexico have worked together to deepen our ties and diversify an agenda that reflects our strengths and shared values. Together, we must build a better and more prosperous North America.

Jesus Marquez is a political strategist and activist. He is the founder and president of MG Strategies, a grass-roots political action organization that specializes in Hispanic outreach.