Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto took power last year promising reforms. Despite blockades, fistfights, theatrics and a strip show in protest, Peña Nieto has opened the oil sector for private investment. Though the nationalized oil industry is bound up with pride and sovereignty for many Mexicans, the president is prioritizing a prosperous Mexico over scathing opinion polls. The industry’s productivity has been dropping for years, and Peña Nieto hopes that direct investment may provide the jolt it needs. America, for its part, welcomes the prospect of cheaper oil with no Middle East political strings attached.