Existing theories of economic liberalization fail to account for Mexico's experiences. Why has the Mexican government risked alienating its primary constituencies by pursuing trade opening and joining NAFTA? Big Business, the State, and Free Trade argues that Mexico's trade reforms are the product of the formation of political coalitions between business and the state in different international contexts. It covers the NAFTA negotiations in detail, with a special case study on the automotive industry. As Mexico democratizes, business-government coalitions will become increasingly important.